Sofia Kenin rises to a career-high No. 4, while Elina Svitolina is back in the top five after the pair won titles in Lyon and Monterrey.
Australian Open champion Kenin arrived in Lyon without a WTA match win since departing Melbourne Park, losing in the opening rounds of Dubai and Doha, but the American battled her way through the draw, winning four consecutive three-set matches – including a 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory over a resurgent Anna-Lena Friedsam in the final – to capture her fifth career title.
Kenin saved a match point in her opening match against qualifier Jaqueline Cristian and from there dug deep to overcome a bunch of fantastic indoor players to emerge with the silverware.
“I had two tough losses but I knew I needed to regroup, and I’m so happy that I won it,” Kenin said afterwards.
“Every match was a close one and I had to really fight through – every player I played put up a tough fight against me, and I was able to play my game which was good. I’m happy that I came here – it was a good decision from my side… I wanted to get enough match play going into Indian Wells and Miami.”
Kenin is the first player in 2020 to win multiple titles, with her Lyon triumph propelling her into the world’s top four for the first time. The 21-year-old and new World No. 4 is the second youngest player in the top 15, behind 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu.
Meanwhile, it was still an excellent week for Friedsam, who’s career was put on hold for the better part of two years due to double shoulder surgery.
The German rises 30 spots in the latest WTA rankings to No. 106 and is now within striking distance of a return to the top 100.
Elsewhere, Svitolina won her first title since the 2018 WTA Finals and first non-season-ending crown since Rome 2018 with a hard-fought triumph over Marie Bouzkova in Monterrey.
Svitolina came into Monterrey on a three-match losing streak and on the back of a number of crushing defeats, but the Ukrainian didn’t drop a set in making the final – and she responded brilliantly to losing the second against Bouzkova, bouncing back to take the decider and the title 7-5 4-6 6-4.
The win propels Svitolina up two rungs on the rankings ladder to No. 5, while Bouzkova – who was aiming for her maiden WTA title – moves up 10 places to crack the top 50 for the first time at No. 47.
All of the top WTA stars – minus the injured Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu – will next compete at the first Premier Mandatory event of 2020 at Indian Wells, which begins later this week.
Latest WTA Rankings, Monday March 9
1. ?? Ashleigh Barty
2. ?? Simona Halep
3. ?? Karolina Pliskova
4. ?? Sofia Kenin (+1)
5. ?? Elina Svitolina (+2)
6. ?? Bianca Andreescu (-1)
7. ?? Kiki Bertens (-1)
8. ?? Belinda Bencic
9. ?? Serena Williams
10. ?? Naomi Osaka
11. ?? Aryna Sabalenka
12. ?? Petra Kvitova
13. ?? Madison Keys
14. ?? Johanna Konta (+2)
15. ?? Petra Martic (-1)
16. ?? Garbine Muguruza (-1)
17. ?? Elena Rybakina
18. ?? Marketa Vondrousova
19. ?? Alison Riske
20. ?? Maria Sakkari
Notable Top 100 Ranking Movements This Week
?? Marie Bouzkova (+10 to No. 47)
?? Alison Van Uytvanck (+5 to No. 57)
?? Daria Kasatkina (+7 to No. 66)
?? Misaki Doi (+10 to No. 76)
?? Irina-Camelia Begu (+23 to No. 81)