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Movers and Shakers: How the French Open Affected the WTA rankings 1

Posted on November 02, 2020 by Lucy Waldon

While there were no surprises in the men’s singles at Roland Garros this year, the women’s game threw up a number of shocks. First, there were the absentees, citing safety concerns amidst the coronavirus pandemic – big name players such as last year’s champion Ash Barty, as well as previous US Open winners Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu.

Then we saw many of the seeded stars exit the tournament in its early stages – Serena Williams was forced to withdraw through injury in round two, while there were shock defeats for Angelique Kerber (round one), Karolína Plíšková (round two), and Simona Halep (round four) to the eventual winner Iga Świątek. In the quarter-finals, there were just three seeds, two qualifiers and three unseeded players, with Świątek coming out on top.

While the women’s game has been unpredictable for some time, with Świątek becoming the ninth woman to win a maiden Grand Slam title in the past 14 major tournaments, the Pole’s name certainly wasn’t on anybody’s lips as a possible contender. Previously placed 54th in the world, she wasn’t considered in the pre-tournament tennis odds from Betfair, but her triumph on clay sees her climb into the top-20 – and a career high position of 17th. In winning her first ever WTA singles title and in a Grand Slam tournament too, it’s not just her ranking, but her profile has risen too.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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