Naomi Osaka back to No. 2 in the WTA rankings; Daniil Medvedev ATP No. 3; Karatsev jumps 72 points

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Image source: AP

Picture of a file by Naomi Osaka.

Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open moved her one place to No. 2 in the WTA rankings on Monday, while men’s finalist Daniil Medvedev climbed to the best number 3 in his career after winner Novak Djokovic on the ATP list.

Jennifer Brady, a 25-year-old American who was a runner-up in Osaka, jumped 11 places to number 13 for the first time in the Top 20.

Aslan Karatsev’s historic run from qualifying to the final four before losing to nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic allowed him to jump 72 places from 114th to 42nd. He is the first person in the professional era to reach the semifinals in his debut in the main draw of a major tournament.

Although he has won the last two Grand Slam tournaments in which he competes, Osaka still loses to No. 1 Ash Barty – who lost in the quarterfinals in Melbourne Park – because of the way tennis tours calculate what they call “frozen” rankings after last season disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In essence, in order not to hurt the players’ rankings if they miss events resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the WTA has given credit to someone’s top 16 tournaments since March 2019.

For example, Barty took almost a year off, but still has his points from winning the French Open in 2019 and reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2020.

Serena Williams climbed four places from No. 11 to No. 7 to return to the Top 10 after qualifying for the semifinals in Australia a year after losing in the third round there.

She was defeated by Osaka, whose 6-4, 6-3 victory over Brady in Saturday’s final gave her a fourth major championship, all on hard courts: the US Open in 2018 and 2010 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021.

After her previous title in Melbourne, Osaka became the first Asian tennis player to reach No. 1 in the women’s or men’s rankings. She was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father; they moved to the United States when Osaka was 3 years old.

Osaka is now swapping places with Simona Halep, who is moving from No. 2 to No. 3 after losing to Williams in the quarterfinals.

Arina Sabalenka now leads the WTA doubles standings after pairing with Elise Mertens to win the doubles title at the Australian Open. Sabalenka is number 8 in singles, making her the first woman to be number 1 in doubles and in the Top 10 in singles by Sarah Erani in February 2014.

After defeating Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday for his 18th Grand Slam title, Djokovic is confident he will remain No. 1 for at least another two weeks, boosting his overall career at this place to 311. That means he will break Roger Federer’s ATP record of 310 weeks at the top of the rankings.

Rafael Nadal remained at No. 2 after losing in the quarterfinals, while Medvedev’s second appearance in the Grand Slam final pushed him up one place. Medvedev trades with Dominic Thiem, who fell to No. 4 after losing in the fourth round.

There were no other changes in the Men’s Top 10, including Roger Federer remaining 5th, although he has not competed for more than a year after two knee surgeries. He is expected to return to the tour next month.



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