After a week off of WTA action for Fed Cup, the women returned back to the tour in the biggest tour-level tournament to date at the Qatar Total Open. Being a Premier 5 event, it was a loaded field and saw one of the tour's hottest players claim the title.
Last Week’s Champions
After capturing the St. Petersburg title a couple of weeks ago, Petra Kvitova was one of the players that most people did not want to play. The Czech seems to have found a rhythm in her game which makes her one of the most difficult players to stop.
The former two-time Wimbledon champion fended off some quite big names en route to the title, including Agnieszka Radwanska, Elina Svitolina, Julia Goerges, Australian Open champion and world number one Caroline Wozniacki, and Garbiñe Muguruza in the finals.
It is now 13 matches on the bounce for the Czech who will likely be one of the favorites headed into the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami. Her opponent in the final, Muguruza, can also look at this tournament as a major positive. The Spaniard was struggling with injuries in the leadup to the Australian Open and was outclassed by Su-wei Hsieh in the second round of the opening major of the year.
The biggest riser this week is Monica Niculescu who moved up 17 spots to 75 after qualifying then making the third round in Doha. Kvitova moved up 11 spots, back into the top-10 at 10 in the world. It's been quite the rankings rise for the Czech who was sitting at 29 to start the year and is already back into the top-10. 14 months removed from her stabbing, this rise is remarkable.
Ying-Ying Duan qualified for Doha and made the second round, moving her back into the top-100 up to 96. She was 105 last week. American CiCi Bellis is the final big mover of the week, moving up seven spots to 41 after her quarterfinal run which included her biggest win to date, defeating Karolina Pliskova.
Only two players saw notable slips in their rankings this past week. Both Lauren Davis and Monica Puig had deep runs in Doha last year but did not play in it this year which saw heavy ranking drops for both. The American Davis slipped 19 spots to 81, failing to defend her qualifier and quarterfinalist points. Puig was a semifinalist and moved down 17 spots to 70.
Road To Singapore
There wasn't much movement in the Race to Singapore with only one new face joining the top-eight. Muguruza's finalist showing in Doha moved her up 48 spots to seventh in the race, surpassing Goerges. Seven of the eight remained the same with Kvitova moving up four spots up to four which knocked down Elise Mertens and Svirolina down a spot.
This Week’s Tournaments
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is currently underway. Defending finalist and current world number one Caroline Wozniacki has chosen not to play in the tournament this year. Due to this, Simona Halep will reclaim the title of world number one this upcoming week after she lost it to the Dane at the Australian Open.