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Pete’s Power Rankings: Krejcikova on the rise after French Open victory

June 15, 2021

After a wild, unpredictable French Open, the WTA tour now shifts to the grass for the first time in two years, which should only add to the craziness.

Barbora Krejcikova’s title run in Paris was one of the most unlikely, and inspiring, Grand Slam victories in recent memory and has contributed to the WTA’s reputation as the tour where anything can happen.

And now we head to the grass, which by its nature tends to be the trickiest surface in the sport.

With a whole bunch of new names on the rise, many of whom have very little experience on the lawns of Germany and the United Kingdom, do not expect things to calm down any time soon.

Here are our post-French Open WTA power rankings.

PETE’S WTA TOUR POWER RANKINGS – Week of June 14, 2021

1.Iga ŚwiątekChange: –
2021 Record: 23-6 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 9Last Week Result: RG – QF

The door is wide open for Świątek coming into the grass court season as the young Pole only has a handful of points to defend the rest of the year, meaning she has a real chance to rocket up the rankings.

That starts on the grass, where on the one hand, she has barely any tour level experience. However, she is also a former Wimbledon junior champion. If she can bring her clean ball striking to the grass, she could find herself near the top of the real rankings very quickly.

2.Cori GauffChange: –
2021 Record: 27-10 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 23Last Week Result: RG – QF

The young American returns to the surface where she first made a name for herself after a phenomenal clay court campaign. Gauff is coming into the grass court season having reached the quarter-finals or better at six of her last eight events across two surfaces. Put simply, she has momentum.

3.Serena WilliamsChange: –
2021 Record: 12-4Actual Rank: 8Last Week Result: RG – R4

Roland Garros was always going to be a long shot for Williams to claim Grand Slam No. 24. Her game is much more suited for grass and maybe seeing Novak Djokovic make some history on the men’s side in Paris will further fire up Serena’s own chase for an all-time record.

4.Ashleigh BartyChange: +1
2021 Record: 28-6 (3 Titles)Actual Rank: 1Last Week Result: RG – R2

While there is no official update on the world No. 1’s health, she tweeted a video of herself hitting on grass at the All-England Club.

Does this mean she is healthy? Will she play Wimbledon? Who knows, but the fact that she is there and hitting is a good sign and right now, when Barty is healthy, she is the best player in the world.

5.Sofia KeninChange: -1
2021 Record: 10-9Actual Rank: 5Last Week Result: RG – R4

Will Kenin build on her good French Open performance? Or turn back into 2021 Kenin.

Up until Roland Garros, 2021 had been extremely forgettable for the American and she will be hoping that the French Open was a turning point in her season that sees her get back to major-winning form. She does have a title on grass, Mallorca in 2019, so that bodes well as the surface shifts.

6.Barbora KrejcikovaChange: +6
2021 Record: 26-9 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 15Last Week Result: RG – W

The French Open champion skyrocketed into the public consciousness last week with one of the most stunning Grand Slam title runs in recent memory.

The question is now can she keep it up? The Czech won more matches at the 2021 French Open than she had previously won at all the Slams combined in her entire career. She has also never competed in the main draw at Wimbledon or the US Open.

That means she has lots of points to gain, although she is also an unknown quantity on the quicker surfaces.

7.Anastasia PavlyuchenkovaChange: +3
2021 Record: 15-10Actual Rank: 19Last Week Result: RG – F

Will Roland Garros be a springboard for the Russian veteran?

After finally getting over the quarter-final hurdle, Pavlyuchenkova should now have the belief that she can win big matches. Another big question is her health, as she was hurting in the French Open final. Still, Pavlyuchenkova cannot be ignored anymore.

8.Elina SvitolinaChange: –
2021 Record: 21-10Actual Rank: 6Last Week Result: RG – R3

Svitolina’s third round loss at Roland Garros actually aged quite well when Krejcikova went on to win the title. In 2019, she had a good season on the grass, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Given how WTA draws tend to fall apart, the Ukranian may just need one break to go her way for her to take advantage on a surface where she has been improving.

9.Aryna SabalenkaChange: -2
2021 Record: 27-8 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 4Last Week Result: RG – R3

Sabalenka has the game to do incredible damage on grass. Her best results have come on super fast hard courts, but she has historically struggled on the lawns. If she can figure out how to translate her game to the surface, she has the potential to blow the field away.

6.Maria SakkariChange: -4
2021 Record: 21-10Actual Rank: 18Last Week Result: RG – SF

The big test for Sakkari will be overcoming the heartbreak of her French Open semi-final loss, where she held match point, and take confidence into the grass court season.

Like Sabalenka, she plays a style of tennis that should work on grass, but has not in the past. Now that she has a major semi-final under her belt, this could be the time that she puts her game together on grass.

11.Victoria AzarenkaChange: -2
2021 Record: 9-3Actual Rank: 16Last Week Result: RG – R4

It has been a while since Azarenka has had success on grass, but she is a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and generally has been picking up her game over the last year or so. She seems ripe to make a run.

12.Sloane StephensChange: -1
2021 Record: 12-11Actual Rank: 67Last Week Result: RG – R4

After a solid run at the French Open, now we get to see if Stephens is really on the up again or was it just another flash in the pan. When Stephens is on her game, she is one of the best in the world and has the capability to bully any opponent around the court, something that can be effective on grass. She has reached a Wimbledon quarter-final in the past.  

Or is this another peak in the roller coaster of her career and she is heading for another drop?

13.Simona HalepChange: +2
2021 Record: 11-5Actual Rank: 3Last Week Result: DNP

We are still waiting to see what kind of form the reigning Wimbledon champion will have after missing several weeks with a calf injury. But Halep has been arguably the most consistent player on the WTA tour for the past seven or so years and was a force last time she played on grass.

14.Elise MertensChange: –
2021 Record: 22-8Actual Rank: 17Last Week Result: RG – R3

Mertens has been sneakily consistent, reaching at least the third round of every major since 2018. Her flat groundstrokes can be effective on grass. She has also improved her Wimbledon results with each successive performance.

15.Tamara ZidansekChange: -2
2021 Record: 20-11Actual Rank: 47Last Week Result: RG – SF

No more sneaking under the radar. In a surprising French Open, Zidansek’s semi-final run was the biggest shock of all and now she has jumped 38 spots in the rankings into the top 50 for the first time in her career.

That means she will still be a dangerous floater in most draws, but no opponent will expect her to be an easy match-up any time soon.  

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