Serena Williams suffers fresh blow after French Open drama

Serena Williams, pictured here in action during the first round at the French Open.
Serena Williams in action during the first round at the French Open. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Serena Williams has been bumped down to World No.10 in the latest WTA rankings and is all-but certain to fall out of the top-10 by the end of the year.

Up as high as No.8 before the US and French Opens, Williams has now been leapfrogged by Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens.

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But after her shock withdrawal from the French Open before her second-round clash with Tsvetana Pironkova, Williams is set to tumble out of the top-10.

An Achilles injury almost certainly means she will miss the rest of 2020, leaving the Australian Open in 2021 as her next chance to equal Margatet Court’s all-time majors record.

“I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing, and that will give me time to recover for the future,” Williams said at Roland Garros two weeks ago.

“It’s more than likely that I won’t play another tournament this year.”

Williams, who just turned 39, hasn’t won a grand slam since the 2017 Australian Open - the longest dry spell in her 22-year career.

This is the first year since 2006 that Williams has failed to make a grand slam final and the recent near-misses will hurt.

She will have left Paris knowing full well that such a disrupted season represented her best opportunity to add to her majors haul.

In New York, where she reached the semi-finals, six of the world’s top players opted not to play.

At Roland Garros, four of the leading 10 were missing - World No.1 and defending champion Ashleigh Barty, US Open winner Naomi Osaka, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu as well as Swiss No.10 Belinda Bencic.

Iga Swiatek, pictured here with the trophy after winning the French Open.
Iga Swiatek poses with the trophy after winning the French Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

French Open champion surges into top-20

Instead of Williams cashing in for her 24th major, it was Polish teenager Iga Swiatek claiming her first and the first in tennis history for a Polish player.

Swiatek, 19, climbed 37 spots from 54 to a career-high 17 after her heroics in Paris.

French Open runner-up Sofia Kenin rose two to a career-high No.4, and Kvitova returned to the top 10 in eighth.

Barty remains World No.1 despite missing the past two grand slam tournaments.

Barty has 8717 points as she leads the way from Romanian Simona Halep (7255), one of Swiatek’s victims at Roland Garros, and Japan’s Naomi Osaka (5780).

The WTA ranking system has been revised from a rolling 52-weeks system to a best-of 16 tournaments from March 2019 onwards owing to the coronavirus, allowing Barty to keep the No.1 ranking.


1. (1) Ashleigh Barty, Australia, 8,717 points

2. (2) Simona Halep, Romania, 7,255 points

3. (3) Naomi Osaka, Japan, 5,780

4. (6) Sofia Kenin, United States, 5,760

5. (5) Elina Svitolina, Ukraine, 5,260

6. (4) Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic, 5,205

7. (7) Bianca Andreescu, Canada, 4,555

8. (11) Petra Kvitova,Czech Republic, 4,516

9. (8) Kiki Bertens, Netherlands, 4,505

10. (9) Serena Williams, United States, 4,080

(previous ranking in parenthesis)

with AAP

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