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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

    • Archie Griffin: 2-Time Heisman Winner
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      Archie Griffin

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is the only football player ever to capture college football’s top individual award twice.

      As a star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Archie Griffin claimed the Heisman Trophy during his junior season in 1974 and then was able to repeat the honor the following season.

      Griffin joined the Buckeyes for the 1972 season, which happened to be the first in which freshmen were eligible to play varsity football, and made an immediate impact. After fumbling in his only carry of his first game, Griffin more than made up for it in his second game by rushing for 237 yards against North Carolina. By the end of the season, Griffin had rushed for 867 yards.

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