Women's Tennis Power Rankings: Williams Sisters Still On Top

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Women's Tennis Power Rankings: Williams Sisters Still On Top
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The Williams sisters are absent from the so-called "Premier Mandatory" event at Indian Wells as usual.

(Not sure why? check out JA Allen's recent article here.)

However, their absence did not prevent them from retaining the top two spots in our biweekly power rankings, though they are sure to lose their grip after the BNP Paribas Open concludes.

 

The Top Ten

1. Venus Williams (Last Power Ranking: 1; WTA Ranking: 5)

Last Four Tournaments: Acapulco [Winner], Dubai [Winner], Australian Open [Quarterfinalist], Doha [Finalist]

Power Ranking Points: 426

Venus Williams has been on fire since Australian Open. In a stretch of about two weeks, she won back-to-back titles at Dubai (Hard) and Acapulco (Clay), and then captured the Billie Jean King Cup at Madison Square Garden. One can not help but wonder what will happen if she participated in this year's Indian Wells event.

 

2. Serena Williams (Last Power Ranking: 2; WTA Ranking: 1)

Last Four Tournaments: Australian Open [Winner], Sydney [Finalist], Doha [Winner], Beijing [R16]

Power Ranking Points: 402 

Serena Williams has not been nearly as busy as her elder sister, most recently pulling out of the Billie Jean Cup citing injuries. She has not played since winning the Australian Open, her 12th. Grand Slam title. Hopefully, she will return for the Premier event at Miami, where she lost in the final last year to the lady ranked just below her, Victoria Azarenka.

 

3. Victoria Azarenka (Last Power Ranking: 3; WTA Ranking: 6)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R32+], Dubai [Finalist], Australian Open [Quarterfinalist], Sydney [Semifinalist]

Power Ranking Points: 329 

Azarenka has had a solid 2010 season so far. In Dubai, she reached the final but lost to red-hot Venus Williams. She reached the semifinals last year at Indian Wells. If she can win there this year, then she will surpass Venus on the WTA rankings, reaching a career-high No. 5.

She is scheduled to meet Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the third round. It will be the first career meeting between them.

 

4. Elena Dementieva (Last Power Ranking: 4; WTA Ranking: 7)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R16+], Kuala Lumpur [Finalist], Dubai [R64], Paris [Winner]

Power Ranking Points: 301

Elena Dementieva has played really well in smaller tournaments this year, winning titles at Sydney and Paris and reaching the final at Kuala Lumpur. However, she failed to show up in the bigger events, losing in the second round at the Australian Open and in the first round at Dubai.

She has cruised into the fourth round at Indian Wells and will meet Aravane Rezai next. Lost in her first match last year at the same event, every win this year is a bonus for the charming Russian.

 

5. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Last Power Ranking: NR; WTA Ranking: 25)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R32+], Monterrey [Winner], Dubai [Quarterfinalist], Paris [R16]

Power Ranking Points: 288

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is making her power ranking top-10 debut, on the strength of her title run at Monterrey. Though her No. 25 WTA ranking is the lowest among the top 10 (and even OLI) here, it is her career high so far.

She made to the semifinals at Indian Wells last year. With her current form, it will not be a big surprise if she can duplicate that effort this year. But first, she needs to pull off an upset against Samantha Stosur in the third round.

 

6. Zheng Jie (Last Power Ranking: 10; WTA Ranking: 23)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R16+], Kuala Lumpur [R16], Dubai [R64], Australian Open [Semifinalist]

Power Ranking Points: 279

After reaching her second Grand Slam semifinals at the Australian Open, Zheng Jie has not fared well, losing early in both Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. But last Sunday, Zheng shined again, upsetting Maria Sharapova in the third round at Indian Wells. She is scheduled to meet Alicia Molik next.

With her countrywoman, Li Na, already in WTA top 10, Zheng definitely wants to improve on her career-high ranking of No. 15. Having performed well in Australia, she has a good chance of accomplish that this year.

 

7. Justine Henin (Last Power Ranking: 5; WTA Ranking: NR)

Last Three Tournaments: Indian Wells [R64], Australian Open [Finalist], Brisbane [Finalist]

Power Ranking Points: 270

Justine Henin suffered a shocking second round defeat by Gisela Dulko at Indian Wells. Having performed well in Australia, Henin was a pre-tournament favorite even though she had to enter the event as a wild card.

The good news is that she will have a WTA ranking, about no. 35, after this week. When the clay season starts, look for the Belgian to climb the ranking ladder rapidly.

 

8. Agnieszka Radwanska (Last Power Ranking: 9; WTA Ranking: 8)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R16+], Dubai [Semifinalist], Australian Open [R32], Sydney [R16]

Power Ranking Points: 268

Agnieszka Radwanska has been enjoying a career high WTA ranking of no. 8 since February this year. In the third round at Indian Wells, she crushed the Henin- conqueror, Dulko, 6-1 6-0. She is one-win away from matching her last year's quarterfinal effort. Standing in her way is Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli.

 

9. Vera Zvonareva (Last Power Ranking: 8; WTA Ranking: 14)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R32+], Dubai [Quarterfinalist], Pattaya City [Winner], Australian Open [R16]

Power Ranking Points: 232

Vera Zvonareva is the defending champion at Indian Wells. She won the title at Pattaya City, but lost to Azarenka at both Dubai and the Australian Open. Should the seedings hold up, she is to meet Azarenka again in the quarterfinals.

In the third round, she will meet Anastasia Sevastova, who beat Ana Ivanovic in the second round.

 

10. Shahar Peer (Last Power Ranking: 7; WTA Ranking: 20)

Last Four Tournaments: Indian Wells [R32+], Dubai [Semifinalist], Paris [Quarterfinalist], Australian Open [R32]

Power Ranking Points: 226

Though never ranked in WTA top 10 in her career, Shahar Peer has been a familiar face in the power rankings top ten. And she managed to retain her PR top-10 status with some solid performance at Dubai and Indian Wells. In Dubai, she was not distracted by off-court buzzes and polled off upsets against Yanina Wickmayer, Caroline Wozniacki and Li Na. For her to advance into the fourth round at Indian Wells, she needs to pull off another upset against Flavia Pennetta.

 

Outside Looking In

Marion Bartoli (Last Power Ranking: NR; WTA Ranking: 16)

Power Ranking Points: 216

Marion Bartoli has not played much tennis this year, losing in the third round at both Dubai and the Australian Open. But she has been in cruise control at Indian Wells, losing a total of eight games in two matches. She will fight for a quarterfinal berth against Radwanska.

 

Nadia Petrova (Last Power Ranking: NR; WTA Ranking: 19)

Power Ranking Points: 212

After posing impressive wins over Kim Clijsters and Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Australian Open, Nadia Petrova lost in the first round at Dubai. But she has been playing well at Indian Wells and will next meet the highest seed remaining, Wozniacki.

 

Li Na (Last Power Ranking: 6; WTA Ranking: 10)

Power Ranking Points: 190

After becoming the first Chinese woman to crack the WTA top 10 on the strength of her semifinal showing at the Australian Open, Li Na has failed to carry the momentum forward, losing in the first round at both Kuala Lumpur and Indian Wells. Some lingering injuries might be a potential problem for the Chinese No. 1.

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