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Latest WTA Rankings 1 October 2018: Aryna Sabalenka on the cusp of top 15 debut after winning second career title in Wuhan

  • Latest WTA rankings
  • Sabalenka up to No. 16 after Wuhan title triumph
  • Gasparyan back into top 200 with Tashkent victory
Aryna Sabalenka (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosive young gun Aryna Sabalenka has continued her meteoric rise up the WTA rankings after capturing her second title in as many months at the Premier 5 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

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Having lost her first three career finals, Sabalenka has now won her last two titles matches without relinquishing a set, adding the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open silverware to the Connecticut Open crown she won in New Haven last month, taking out fellow rising star Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-3 in Saturday’s all-unseeded final.

Fourteen of the world’s top fifteen players lined up at the start of the week in Wuhan, but it was Sabalenka who was the last woman standing, producing some thunderous tennis to reign supreme and further cement herself as arguably the brightest young prospect in women’s tennis.

"This is one of my favourite places to play. I really enjoy to be here. Always play well here. [I'm] always waiting for this part of the season. I always want to be here... Probably they have to have more tournaments in China!"

Starting the season ranked No. 73 in the world after reaching the final of the Tianjin Open at the end of 2017, Sabalenka has rapidly climbed the rankings throughout 2018, winning 25 of her last 32 matches to surge into a career-high mark of No. 16. The 20-year-old is also an outside shot of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore if she can continue her sparkling form, rising to No. 12 in the Race.

Meanwhile, it was still a tremendous week for Kontaveit despite falling at the final hurdle, with the Estonian reaching the biggest final of her career.

The 22-year-old put together a similar climb up the rankings to that of Sabalenka last year, starting 2017 outside the top 100 and finishing it at No. 34, while she’s continued her steady progress in 2018 and has moved up six rungs on the latest rankings ladder to a career-high mark of No. 22.

Margarita Gasparyan (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Elsewhere, Margarita Gasparyan captured her first WTA title since 2015 in Tashkent, beating teenage compatriot and qualifier Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-2 in the final.

After undergoing three knee surgeries between 2016-17 and on the verge of quitting the sport, Gasparyan began this season unranked as she started her long journey back to the upper echelons of the rankings. Now the 24-year-old has returned to the top 200 for the first time in almost two years, rising a whopping 161 spots to No. 138.

“When I entered this event I wanted to just play a tournament, I didn’t think I will win the title,” Gasparyan said. “My goal was to play a lot of matches, I didn’t expect I would go far here.
“For me this a special win as I will now have more chances to play on the bigger events Australia, bigger matches. I’m close but far, if I play good for the next few weeks.”

Gasparyan, at World No. 299, is also the second lowest-ranked WTA champion in history after Angelique Widjaja won the Bali title in 2001 as the World No. 579.

The final WTA Premier Mandatory event of the season is already underway at the China Open in Beijing this week, with No. 1 Simona Halep, No. 4 Petra Kvitova and No. 5 Elina Svitolina already eliminated. Among those battling it out for the title and valuable points on the Race to Singapore include No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 3 Angelique Kerber, No. 6 Naomi Osaka, No. 7 Karolina Pliskova and defending champion Caroline Garcia.

Latest WTA rankings, Monday October 1


1. Simona Halep
2. Caroline Wozniacki
3. Angelique Kerber
4. Petra Kvitova (+1)
5. Elina Svitolina (+1)
6. Naomi Osaka (+2)
7. Karolina Pliskova
8. Caroline Garcia (-4)
9. Sloane Stephens
10. Julia Goerges 
11. Kiki Bertens
12. Daria Kasatkina (+1)
13. Jelena Ostapenko (-1)
14. Elise Mertens (+1)
15. Garbine Muguruza (-1)
16. Aryna Sabalenka (+4)
17. Serena Williams (-1)
18. Madison Keys
19. Ashleigh Barty (-2)
20. Anastasija Sevastova (-1)


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Latest WTA Rankings 1 October 2018: Aryna Sabalenka on the cusp of top 15 debut after winning second career title in Wuhan

Explosive young gun Aryna Sabalenka has continued her meteoric rise up the WTA rankings after capturing her second title in as many months at the Premier 5 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

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