WTA Weekly Update week one: Top players dominate with titles to kickoff 2018

Three top-15 players, including world number one Simona Halep, kicked off their season with a title.

WTA Weekly Update week one: Top players dominate with titles to kickoff 2018
The season's first three WTA champions (Images courtesy of Getty Images)

With three tournaments to kickoff 2018, the WTA was sure to entertain tennis fans across the globe. The opening week did not disappoint as those players who headlined 2017 at one point, started off the season in the headlines once again.

Last Week's Champions

Brisbane

Elina Svitolina continues to dominate in finals wherever she gets. The Ukrainian is now 10-2 in finals after roaring to victory over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Sasnovich did a stellar job over the week, coming through qualifiers and then coming from behind in a couple of her main draw matches as well. 

Svitolina took out top-10 players Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova on the way to the title, improving her mark to 13-5 against top-10 players since last season. 

Shenzhen

The Shenzhen Open was put in a bit of a predicament as rain hit China on finals day and moved the tournament indoors where there was no television cameras or electronic line calling. However, the Shenzhen Open Twitter account did a brilliant job of live tweeting the final to keep everyone aware of what was going on.

Simona Halep captured the title in an up-and-down match over Katerina Siniakova. The Romanian's victory solidified herself as world number one headed into the Australian Open and has already matched her title haul from last season in just one week. 

Halep had double delight, winning the doubles as well. Her and partner, Irina-Camelia Begu, defeated the all-Czech pairing of Siniakova and Barbora Krejčíková.

Auckland

Julia Goerges picked up right where she left off to end the 2017 season in 2018. The German ended a long drought without a title after winning the Kremlin Cup last year over Daria Kasatkina and followed that up by winning the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. 

The world number 12 defeated Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to give her a third straight WTA title and a 14th consecutive match victory. With a wide-open field. Goerges surely has her best shot to make her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. 

Rankings Update

Notable Risers

With her biggest final to date, Aliaksandra Sasnovich moved up 35 spots in the rankings. Sasnovich moved up to 53 in the rankings which is a career-high for the Belarusian. Kaia Kanepi continues her return to tennis by moving up 20 spots to 79. Like Sasnovich, she made it through the qualifiers in Brisbane and then went on a solid run to the quarterfinals.

Su-Wei Hsieh and Maria Sharapova are the last two notable movers. Hsieh went up 13 spots to 90 after making the semifinals in Auckland while Sharapova, who has no points to defend until the clay season, went up 12 spots to 47.

Sasnovich (right) moved up 35 spots this week in the WTA rankings while Svitolina tops the Road to Singapore standings
Sasnovich (right) moved up 35 spots this week in the WTA rankings while Svitolina tops the Road to Singapore standings (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Notable Fallers

Lauren Davis was the biggest faller after crashing out early in the ASB Classic where she was the defending champion. She moved down 28 spots to 76. Camila Giorgi moved down 20 spots to 100 after failing to defend her semifinal in Shenzhen. Davis' compatriot Alison Riske went down 19 spots to 89 after losing in the round of 16 in Shenzhen where she was a finalist last year. 

Road To Singapore

After winning the biggest tournament to kick off the season, Elina Svitolina moves into a tie with Belinda Bencic for the top spot. The Swiss, who returned to tennis late last year, played a few ITF events to get her ranking back up and won them all to move back inside the top-100. After winning WTA International events, Halep and Goerges are currently tied for fifth. 

This Week's Tournaments

Sydney and Hobart have been underway with both defending champions Johanna Konta and Elise Mertens looking to defend their titles.