Tsvetana Pironkova, already known for her ability to yo-yo up and down the rankings, reached the Wimbledon semifinal (the biggest result of her life) to produce her best-ever upward movement. Now let's hope this isn't followed by another year-long letdown....
Runner-Up: Kaia Kanepi -- Moved 42 places, from #80 to #38
Kanepi, who had already been slowly rebuilding her ranking after a horrid 2009, qualified for Wimbledon and made the quarterfinal.
Biggest Percentage Mover -- Cut Ranking By Highest Percent (Top 100) Leader: Pironkova, cut ranking 57%
Runner-Up: Vera Zvonareva -- Moved 12 places, 57%, from #21 to #9
Her first-ever Slam final put Zvonareva back in the Top Ten. Too bad losing the singles destroyed her for the doubles final....
Biggest Loser -- Most Places Lost (Top 100) Loser: Virginie Razzano -- Dropped 51 places, from #79 to #130
Razzano, who made the Wimbledon Round of Sixteen last year, is injured this year.
Biggest Percentage Loser -- Worst Percentage Increase in Ranking (Top 100) Loser: Venus Williams, ranking increased 1 place, 100%, from #2 to #4.
Thanks to Pironkova, Venus failed to defend her 2009 finalist points, and this was the result.
Ranking Notes Slams tend to produce big ranking moves, but Wimbledon was spectacular in that regard. Four players improved their rankings by more than 50%: Semifinalist Pironkova (57%), finalist Zvonareva (57%), semifinalist Petra Kvitova (53%, to #29, a career high), and Kanepi (52%, to #38). Five others gained at least 20%: Klara Zakopalova, 35%, to #43; Romina Oprandi, 34%, to #92 (this is the result of winning the Cuneo $100K Challenger during the second week of Wimbledon); Jelena Jankovic, 33%, from #3 to #2 (this is because of the points Venus lost, not because Jankovic added points); Caroline Wozniacki, 25%, from #4 to #3 (again, this is because of Venus's lost points, and Wozniacki will fall back to #4 on next week's rankings anyway); and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 21%, to #54.
We might also note that Li Na is back in the Top Ten, at #10 (she and Zvonareva replaced Agnieszka Radwanka and Flavia Pennetta in the TOp Ten), and that Samantha Stosur is Top Five for the first time, replacing Elena Dementieva.
Big upward moves almost require big downward moves, and this week, we had them. Venus Williams fell 200%. Sabine Lisicki, who was unable to play Wimbledon, fell 98%, to #79. Razzano fell 65%. Victoria Azarenka gave up 64%, to #18. Dinara Safina, who also couldn't play, lost 50%, to #33. Ana Ivanovic lost 52%, to #64. Elena Vesnina, even though she might have won the doubles title had it not been played right after the singles final, lost 41% in singles, ending at #58. Nadia Petrova fell 36%, to #19. Tatjana Malek lost her Top Hundred spot, sliding 34%, to #126. And Sorana Cirstea, who is a mess right now, fell 25%, to #69. She actually tried playing the Cuneo Challenger, but didn't do much there. Seven other players (Hercog, Agnieszka Radwanska, Craybas, de los Rios, Oudin, Pennetta, and Dementieva) lost between 20% and 25%.
Our Personal Picks for "Best Mover of the Week" These are subjective picks!
Talk about an embarrassment of riches: Pironkova, Zvonareva, Kvitova, and Kanepi all improved their rankings by more than half. Pironkova and Kvitova are at career highs. They also had career-best results, as did Zvonareva. Near-ties are always split in favor of the player with the biggest percentage move. That's Pironkova, although her move was only .18% better than Zvonareva's...