The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Pete’s Power Rankings: Wimbledon field as open as ever

June 29, 2021

Welcome to Pete’s Power Rankings, where we paint a picture of the WTA Tour by looking at recent results and ranking players based on their current form, rather than the WTA’s point system.

The power rankings will be updated weekly all the way up to the Omnium Banque Nationale.

After an abridged grass-court swing, the crown jewel of the tennis season has arrived.

It’s Wimbledon time!

The women’s field feels as wide open as ever, with the defending champion absent, the world number one dealing with injuries, and the young stars unproven on grass.

How do you even pick a favourite under these conditions?

Let’s try anyway. Here are your pre-Wimbledon WTA Power Rankings:

(Please note, rankings were made before Wimbledon first round began on Monday and do not necessarily reflect first round results)

PETE’S WTA TOUR POWER RANKINGS – Week of June 28, 2021

1.Serena WilliamsChange: +2
2021 Record: 12-4Actual Rank: 8Last Week Result: DNP
Wimbledon Record: 98-122019 Wimbledon: FWimbledon Best: W (7)

Most of the top women struggled in the warm-up events this June heading into Wimbledon. Even though Williams did not play, her history at the All-England club, seven titles, finals in four straight appearances, makes her the safest best.

But if she is going to claim No. 24, she will have to do it the hard way, with a potential 2016 and 2018 final rematch with Angelique Kerber in the third round followed by either Coco Gauff or Belinda Bencic in round four. That’s just to reach the quarter-finals!

Although given the health and poor form of the rest of her half of the draw, if Williams gets through to the QF, she could be tough to stop.

2.Ashleigh BartyChange: +2
2021 Record: 28-6 (3 Titles)Actual Rank: 1Last Week Result: DNP
Wimbledon Record: 5-42019 Wimbledon: R4Wimbledon Best: R4

The world number one is officially the top seed and there is nothing that suggests she will not be good to go physically at Wimbledon. However, there is little to suggest she is fully healthy either. She is a bit of an enigma right now.

What is not a mystery is the fact that Barty wants to win this tournament more than any other and that on her day, she can beat anyone on the tour.

If Barty is healthy, she has a blockbuster, albeit not overly threatening, first-round match against Carla Suarez Navarro and could meet French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the fourth round.

3.Cori GauffChange: -1
2021 Record: 28-11 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 23Last Week Result: Eastbourne – R2
Wimbledon Record: 3-12019 Wimbledon: R4Wimbledon Best: R4

Gauff had to battle in both of her matches in Eastbourne. She upset seventh seed Elise Mertens in the first round before losing to Anastasija Sevastova in the second. The loss is disappointing, but the win over Mertens is encouraging.

The American will be tested in the third round, where she could meet ninth seed Bencic, who had some decent results at the warm-up events. And it does not get any easier as either Kerber or Williams will likely loom in round four.

4.Iga ŚwiątekChange: -3
2021 Record: 24-7 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 9Last Week Result: Eastbourne – R2
Wimbledon Record: 0-12019 Wimbledon: R1Wimbledon Best: R1

The Pole did not get off to a very good start to her grass-court season, needing three sets to get her first career win as a pro and then lost in three in the next round, dropping the last two sets 6-0, 6-1 to Daria Kasatkina.

Cut Świątek some slack though, Kasatkina is having a really good grass season and is coming off a final appearance in Birmingham so it may have just been a matter of an unlucky draw.

That being said, her draw in London is not great. She opens against Australian Open quarter-finalist Su-Wei Hsieh and if she gets through that, her fourth-round opponent will probably be either former champion Garbine Muguruza or Birmingham champion Ons Jabeur.

5.Sofia KeninChange: –
2021 Record: 10-9Actual Rank: 6Last Week Result: DNP
Wimbledon Record: 2-22019 Wimbledon: R2 Wimbledon Best: R2 (2)

Wimbledon has not historically been kind to Kenin, as her 2-2 record at the tournament shows. But a lot has changed since her last appearance at the All-England Club in 2019. She is now a major champion and is coming off a solid performance in Paris. There is a good chance she at least gets past round two this time.

The American should have a pretty clean shot to the fourth round, maybe even quarter-finals as the other high seed in her section is the inconsistent Mertens.

6.Victoria AzarenkaChange: –
2021 Record: 14-4Actual Rank: 14Last Week Result: Bad Homburg – QF
Wimbledon Record: 32-122019 Wimbledon: R3Wimbledon Best: SF (2)

Some questions are now swirling around Azarenka after she struggled with an apparent injury in her second round match in Bad Homburg last week. She did win the match, but then dropped out before the quarter-finals.

Azarenka has been among the more consistent players lately, including on the grass. If her week had not be clouded by injury, she would likely rank higher among the favourites.

Assuming she is healthy, she has an interesting draw. She is in the same section as Eastbourne finalist Anett Kontaveit, which would be a challenge, but the high seed in her section in No. 5 Bianca Andreescu, who has not had a great grass season so far.

It is definitely a draw that Azarenka can rip through.

7.Barbora KrejcikovaChange: –
2021 Record: 26-9 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 17Last Week Result: DNP
Wimbledon Record: Debut2019 Wimbledon: DNPWimbledon Best: –

The French Open champion returns to action this week and will be making her Wimbledon main draw debut. She has not played a match yet on grass this year and has not played at all since the final weekend at Roland Garros.

How will she handle the pressure of being a major champion at the world’s biggest tournament? Will she be rusty? What about the transition to the new surface?

Krejcikova does not have a terrible start to her tournament, but could be in trouble in round four where she could meet the world number one Barty.

8.Ons JabeurChange: +2
2021 Record: 29-11 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 24Last Week Result: Eastbourne – R2
Wimbledon Record: 1-32019 Wimbledon: R1Wimbledon Best: R2 (2018)

The Tunisian did not manage to successfully back up her victory in Birmingham, falling to Jelena Ostapenko in the second round of Eastbourne. But the extra rest may be beneficial for one of the few players who has shown real comfort on grass this year.

Jabeur will need her A-game if she is going to make a run at the All-England club. She could meet Venus Williams in the second round and the 11th seed Muguruza in the third. Starts do not get much tougher than that.

9.Maria SakkariChange: –
2021 Record: 21-10Actual Rank: 18Last Week Result: DNP
Wimbledon Record: 5-42019 Wimbledon: R3Wimbledon Best: R3 (2)

Sakkari will also be returning to the tour this week after several weeks off. Her style should translate well to grass, but having not played any warm-up events, it is hard to say how she will do. The Greek has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon before, but the same was true of Roland Garros entering 2021.

Please give us a Sakkari-Sabalenka fourth-round match, although maybe have some sympathy for the poor balls in that one. On Sakkari’s side, there is a good chance that happens as she does not have any obvious threats in her section, although Elena Rybakina could be tricky in round three.

10.Aryna SabalenkaChange: +2
2021 Record: 29-10 (2 Titles)Actual Rank: 4Last Week Result: Eastbourne – QF
Wimbledon Record: 1-32019 Wimbledon: R1Wimbledon Best: R2 (2017)

The Belarusian looked to be finding her game on the grass, powering into the Eastbourne quarter-finals last week where she stalled against Camila Giorgi. At least Sabalenka showed what she is capable of doing to opponents in her first two rounds.

Sabalenka might have the scariest draw of anyone because she still does not really know what it is. There is a chance she could play three qualifiers in the first three round before meeting Sakkari in round four. For some players, that draw is a gift. For someone as inconsistent as Sabalenka, the unpredictability could be terrifying.

11.Angelique KerberChange: New to List
2021 Record: 14-10 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 28Last Week Result: Bad Homburg – W
Wimbledon Record: 31-112019 Wimbledon: R2Wimbledon Best: W (2018)

Perhaps no player is coming into Wimbledon with more momentum that Kerber, who turned in a brilliant performance last week in Bad Homburg to claim her first title since winning, you guessed it, Wimbledon in 2018.

She beat grass court monster Petra Kvitova in an epic semi-final before putting away Katerina Siniakova in straight sets in the final.

With Simona Halep out, Kerber is the most recent Wimbledon champion in the draw. The only reason she is not higher on this list? She has Serena Williams lined up in the third round.

12.Belinda BencicChange: -1
2021 Record: 17-13Actual Rank: 11Last Week Result: Eastbourne – R2
Wimbledon Record: 11-52019 Wimbledon: R3Wimbledon Best: R4 (2)

Bencic failed to back up her good performance in Berlin, losing in the second round of Eastbourne, but she still has picked up match wins in each of her grass-court tournaments this year which is nothing to scoff at.

The Swiss has a tough draw, with Gauff her probable third-round opponent followed by either Williams or Kerber. She is going to need to be at her absolute best to even have a chance.

13.Garbine MuguruzaChange: +1
2021 Record: 25-9 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 12Last Week Result: DNP
Wimbledon Record: 16-62019 Wimbledon: R1Wimbledon Best: W (2017)

The 2017 Wimbledon champion will hope that her quarter-final run in Berlin was enough preparation as she enters what feels like a pretty open field on the lawns of SW19.

If Muguruza is going to re-establish herself at the All-England club, she is going to have to go through Birmingham champion Jabeur to do it which will not be easy.

14.Anastasia PavlyuchenkovaChange: -6
2021 Record: 15-11Actual Rank: 19Last Week Result: Eastbourne – R1
Wimbledon Record: 12-132019 Wimbledon: R1Wimbledon Best: QF (2016)

Pavlyuchenkova’s first match since the Roland Garros final did not go well, as she only won four games in the first round of Eastbourne.

Grass does not really seem to be her surface, as she has lost in the first round of Wimbledon in six of her last seven appearances, although the one time she did not, she reached the quarter-finals.

If she can get her game together, it is a pretty decent draw for Pavlyuchenkova, whose first seeded opponent would be Karolina Muchova and is the same section as the struggling Elina Svitolina. She could not have asked for a more generous draw.

15.Petra KvitovaChange: Return to List
2021 Record: 19-9 (1 Title)Actual Rank: 10Last Week Result: Bad Homburg – SF
Wimbledon Record: 33-112019 Wimbledon: R4Wimbledon Best: W (2)

That first round loss in Wimbledon will rank as one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, maybe the biggest depending on when Barty and Williams go out.

Off the List:

  • Elina Svitolina (Lost in Eastbourne R2)
  • Ludmilla Samsonova (DNP)

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