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Movers and Shakers: How the French Open Affected the WTA rankings 0

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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      Drew Pearson

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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