Serena Williams is No. 1 with a bullet after beating No. 2 Maria Sharapova to capture her 19th major title at the Australian Open. But the rankings shake-up below the WTA's top two, with a big surge forward by the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Madison Keys, and a plummet downward by a number of women still holding onto last year's stale results.
Wozniacki is back in the Top 5 for the first time since March 2012. She sits behind Serena, Sharapova, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova. Despite a second round loss to Victoria Azarenka in Melbourne, Wozniacki rose three spots due to the loss of points by Ana Ivanovic (quarterfinals last year, lost in the first round), Agnieszka Radwanska (semifinals last year, lost in the fourth round), and Eugenie Bouchard (semifinals last year, lost in the quarterfinals).
On the back of her strong run to the quarterfinals, Venus is up seven spots to No. 11. Can she break into the Top 10 for the first time since April 2011? She has over 500 points to defend in the Middle East in February, including the title at the Dubai Championships, and made the fourth round in Miami last year.
Thanks to her breakout performance in Melbourne to beat Kvitova and Venus to make her first Slam semifinal, Madison Keys is up to No. 20 for the first time. She went into Melbourne ranked No. 35. She becomes the first player born in 1995 or later to crack the Top 20.
Also break a ranking milestone is Madison Brengle, who cracked the Top 50 and is up to No. 46. Brengle, 24, just broke into the Top 100 last fall. She started her season by going 14-3 in main draw and qualifying matches in January.
Last year's finalist Dominika Cibulkova did well to make the Melbourne quarterfinals, but her loss to Serena there dropped her down to No. 18. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is now on the verge of falling out of the Top 40, down to No. 39, and Sloane Stephens is out of the Top 40 at No. 41 after her first round loss to Victoria Azarenka.
Speaking of Azarenka, her ranking bottoms out at No. 49 after losing in the fourth round to Cibulkova. With nothing to defend through the French Open, look for her to put together a strong run to get back into the Top 15 quickly. She was playing well above her ranking in Melbourne in defeating Stephens, Wozniacki, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, and taking Cibulkova to three sets.
More notable movers:
- Ekaterina Makarova, a back-to-back Slam semifinalist now, moves up two spots to a new career-high at No. 9.
- Caroline Garcia makes her Top 30 debut at No. 30.
- Irina-Camelia Begu is up to a career-high No. 34 after making the second week of a major for the first time.
- Move over, Belinda Becic. Timea Bacsinszky is the new Swiss No. 1, moving up to a career-high at No. 36.
- Sorana Cirstea has dropped out of the Top 100.