SI.com Staff
Monday February 24th, 2014

Venus Williams Venus Williams won the Dubai Championships without dropping a set. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

Venus Williams is back in the top 30 after winning her first title in 16 months.

The 33-year-old rose to 29th in this week's WTA Tour rankings with a dominant performance at the Dubai Championships, where she beat five top-35 players in straight sets for her first Premier-level title since 2010. The 15-spot jump left Williams as the No. 3 American, behind her sister Serena (No. 1) and Sloane Stephens (No. 18).

In other ranking news:

• Simona Halep moved up two spots, to No. 7, matching Irina Spirlea for the highest ranking by a Romanian woman.

• Halep was part of a top-10 shakeup in which Petra Kvitova fell from sixth to ninth, Jelena Jankovic dropped from seventh to eighth and Angelique Kerber climbed from eighth to sixth. The top five -- Serena, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska,Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova -- remained unchanged.

• Alize Cornet went from No. 26 to No. 23 after stunning Serena in Dubai to make her first hard-court final. • Japan No. 1 Kurumi Nara cracked the top 50 for the first time (No. 48) after winning the Rio Open, the first Japanese WTA champion in almost five years.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.