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Beyond the Baseline

WTA rankings: Venus Williams rises

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.

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