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Latest WTA Rankings 28 January 2019 - Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka reaches World No. 1 ranking for the first time

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Ranking 28 Jan 2019
  • Latest WTA rankings
  • Osaka new No. 1
  • Kvitova up to No. 2
  • Wozniacki falls to No. 9
Naomi Osaka (Photo by GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka is officially the new World No. 1 after securing her second consecutive Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

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This time last year, Osaka was ranked outside the top 70 without a title of any description under her belt. But fast forward 12 month to the present, and the 21-year-old is the first player representing Japan (and the first of Haitian descent) to be ranked World No. 1 since computer rankings were introduced in 1975 after she captured her second major title with a three-set win over Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open final on Saturday night.

Osaka is also the youngest player to make her No. 1 debut since Caroline Wozniacki, who hit the top spot in 2010 at 20 years of age.

"I’m beyond excited to become the new WTA World No.1," said Osaka. "I’ve always dreamt of being in this position and I am honoured to be part of the elite group of players who have reached the No.1 ranking."

As mentioned, Osaka hadn’t won a tour-level title of any description this time last year - but now, she holds half of the WTA’s biggest prizes: the BNP Paribas Open, U.S. Open and Australian Open crowns.

Naomi Osaka and her father Leonard Francois (Photo by GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)
The No. 1 ranking was on the line in the Australian Open final against Petra Kvitova, but despite failing to convert three championship points in the second set, Osaka showcased nerves of steel to regroup and emerge triumphant in the decider, edging the Czech by a 7-6(2) 5-7 6-4 scoreline. The 21-year-old became the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win their first two Grand Slam titles at back-to-back majors.

“I mean, for me, I feel like it hasn't really sunk in,” Osaka said after the win. “Maybe in the next tournament I play, if I see the No. 1 next to my name, I'll feel something. But for now, I'm more happy that I won this trophy.”

Meanwhile, Kvitova’s mere presence in a Grand Slam final again was already a crowning achievement after the Czech’s career hung in the balance two years ago after she was forced to undergo surgery on her left hand following a home invasion in her residence in Prague.

Told she only had a 10 per cent chance of returning to elite tennis, Kvitova came into the Australian Open on the back of winning the Sydney title and didn’t drop a set in reaching her first Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2014. Although disappointed she wasn’t able to claim the title, Kvitova declared she was already the ultimate champion.

“It's hurting a lot today,” Kvitova said in her press conference. “I wanted to win and have the trophy. But I think I already won two years ago. So for me, it's amazing.
“I mean, I've been through many, many things, not really great ones. I didn't know if I going to hold the racquet again. I'm holding it, so that's good. Still few things which I can improve, and we'll do it. So it's not the end. Yeah, I be back for sure.”

Kvitova rises four places in the latest WTA rankings to equal her career-high mark of No. 2 courtesy of her run to the final.

Last year’s runner-up and former No. 1 Simona Halep drops two spots to No. 3 after going down to Serena Williams in the fourth round, with the American edging closer to a top 10 return, registering at No 11 in the latest WTA rankings.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki slipped six places to No. 9 after she was knocked out in the third round of the Australian Open by Maria Sharapova, while 2018 semi-finalist Angelique Kerber also drops down four rungs on the rankings ladder to No. 6 following a shock loss to Danielle Collins in the fourth round.

Collins, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this tournament, rises 12 spots to No. 23 courtesy of her dream run to the semi-finals, while fellow semi-finalist Karolina Pliskova moves up three places to No. 5. Last year’s semi-finalist Elise Mertens paid the price for failing to repeat that run 12 months on, dropping seven places to No. 21.

There were also big moves for teenage stars Amanda Anisimova and Bianca Andreescu. Anisimova made the fourth round of the Australian Open after beating new No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka and rises 26 places to No. 61, while Auckland runner-up Andreescu qualified and made the second round in Melbourne before taking home the Newport Beach title on Sunday, climbing into the top 100 for the first time at No. 68.

Latest WTA rankings, Monday January 28

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

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Latest WTA Rankings 28 January 2019 - Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka reaches World No. 1 ranking for the first time

Naomi Osaka is officially the new World No. 1 after securing her second consecutive Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

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