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Latest WTA Rankings 7 January 2019 - Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka and Julia Goerges launch 2019 with WTA titles

  • Latest WTA rankings
  • Pliskova, Sabalenka and Goerges all victorious with WTA titles over the weekend
  • Osaka breaks into top four for the first time
Karolina Pliskova (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Three players inside the world’s top 15 kicked off their 2019 seasons with titles during the first week of the year, with Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka and Julia Goerges all taking home silverware over the weekend.

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Pliskova secured her second Brisbane International title on Sunday night, adding the 2019 title to her triumph in 2017 by coming back from the brink of defeat to topple the unseeded Lesia Tsurenko in the final. Pliskova was two points away from defeat in the second set but staged an outstanding comeback, recovering from 4-6 3-5 down to register the win, winning 14 straight points to close out the second set before running away with the match in the decider, 4-6 7-5 6-2.

"I think this was a very important match. I had similar one in the first round which I was losing set and break, and of course, when you're able to turn these matches around, it gives you some extra and different confidence." Pliskova said.
"II think I just dug deep today, and that's important. I think she played great. It was not much what she did wrong - only a little bit in the end of the second set mistakes, but I think I improved my game, too, so it was on both sides a little bit. She got down, I got better."

It’s the first time Pliskova has won a title on two occasions, with the Czech joining Serena Williams as the only player to win the Brisbane title two times since the tournament was elevated to Premier status. Pliskova rises one spot in the latest WTA rankings to No. 7, while Tsurenko - who was aiming for her first Premier-level title - moves up three places to a career-high No 24, with the Ukrainian setting herself the target of cracking the top 10 inn 2019.

One player who is close to breaking into that bracket is the rising Sabalenka. Looking to back up her incredible breakout season last year, the 20-year-old launched her 2019 season in perfect fashion, picking up her third career title in Shenzhen after also recovering from a set down to oust Alison Riske 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3 in Saturday’s final.

Aryna Sabalenka (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Due to rain earlier in the week, both players were forced to play their semi-finals and final on the same day to keep schedule, and it appeared as if Riske was finally going to claim the Shenzhen title after two previous runner-up appearances, but Sabalenka dug deep, edged out the tiebreaker and produced some big tennis in the decider to register the victory.

"It was a tough day for us, especially to come back after the first set. She played unbelievable, an incredible match," Sabalenka said.
"She was putting everything in, down the lines, and she was playing really good. I'm so happy that I found a way how to win. This is the third title for me, and the second one in China. I'm so happy with this result and it's a great start of the year."

Sabalenka climbs two rungs on the rankings ladder to a career-high No. 11 in the world and is well-placed to break into the top 10 as she’s not defending any points at the Australian Open, while Riske is back into the top 50 courtesy of her third runner-up showing in Shenzhen, moving up 14 places to No. 48.

Meanwhile, Goerges has started a season with silverware for the second straight year, becoming the first player to defend the ASB Classic title in Auckland in 15 years after also coming from behind to edge out teenage sensation Bianca Andreescu on Sunday.

Julia Goerges (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
The 18-year-old Andreescu had qualified for the main draw and conquered two former World No. 1s and major champions in Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams on her way to the final, and for a while it looked as if the Canadian was about to complete a stunning run to a maiden title, but Goerges showcased immense fight to recover from a first set blitz, holding steady in the business end of the second before storming away with the match in the decider, 2-6 7-5 6-1.

"It feels very good. A nice relief, I must say," Goerges said. "I didn't really get a foot on the court in the beginning. I didn't really feel my game but I changed my tactics a little bit.
"Once again this week I found a way to manage to win. It was probably more worth it than a 6-2, 6-2 [routine victory]. For me, a great start to the year. I'm going to enjoy the victory right now and tomorrow we're going to decide how best to prepare for the next two weeks."

Goerges remains at No. 14 in the world, while Andreescu - who is now looking to try and qualify for the Australian Open - rises a whopping 45 spots to No. 107.

Naomi Osaka also hit a milestone in the rankings despite losing in the semi-finals of Brisbane, climbing into the top four for the first time in her career due to defending champion Elina Svitolina dropping two spots to No. 6 after losing in the second round.

Six of the world’s top 10 are competing at the Sydney International this week, including World No. 1 Simona Halep, who is looking for her first wins since August.

Latest WTA rankings, Monday January 7


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


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Latest WTA Rankings 7 January 2019 - Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka and Julia Goerges launch 2019 with WTA titles

Three players inside the world’s top 15 kicked off their 2019 seasons with titles during the first week of the year, with Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka and Julia Goerges all taking home silverware over the weekend.

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