The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) is the primary managing body of women's professional tennis. Established in June 1973 by Billie Jean King, it governs the worldwide professional tennis tour “to create a better future for women's tennis.”
As part of its responsibilities, the WTA ranks female tennis players based on a rolling 52-week, cumulative system. Updated every Monday, the ranking is a system which uses algorithms that can only be understood by MIT graduates in Mathematics.
This complex analysis attempts to provide current rankings using a player’s results at a maximum of 16 tournaments for singles and 11 for doubles. Players are awarded points determined by how far they advance in a tournament. The system also requires the inclusion of points from the four Grand Slams, the four Premier Mandatory tournaments, and the WTA Finals.
Further complicating the ranking system (most probably misunderstood by most of the players), top 20 players must meet special requirements and even the summer Olympics contributes to the calculation.
The current WTA rankings follow for the top 15 players, but no doubt they will change next Monday.
15 Rank 15 Angelique Kerber, Germany
A former world No. 1 and winner of three Grand Slam tournaments, Angelique Kerber has had a successful professional tennis career that began in 2003. The high-ranking left-handed tennis player has won 12 career singles titles on all surfaces on the WTA Tour.
In 2018 Kerber was the first German woman victorious at Wimbledon in more than 20 years, and she is one of only two women to beat Serena Williams twice in a Grand Slam final.
14 Ranked 14 Sloane Stephens, USA
Although Sloane Stephens is considered a clay-court specialist, she won the U.S. Open Championship on hard courts in 2017 and reached the final of the same tournament in 2018. She has won six WTA singles titles and reached her highest ranking of 3 in the world after Wimbledon in 2018.
Stephens is engaged to Jozy Altidore, a soccer player for MLS club Toronto FC.
13 Ranking 13 Aryna Sabalenka, Belarus
Belarus tennis star, Aryna Sabalenka has had success on the WTA tour as a doubles player (currently ranked 6th). She and Aliaksandra Sasnovich lead the Belarus Fed Cup team to a second-place finish in 2017 despite a ranking of 75 at the time.
Aryna has had success recently playing singles and moved up the rankings reaching four finals in 2018 along with eight top-ten victories.
12 Rank 12 Qiang Wang, China
Born in 1992, Qiang Wang has two singles titles to her credit on the WTA tour. But perhaps her best showing was her victory over number one ranked Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round of the 2019 U.S. Open. Seeded only 18th, Wang defeated Caroline Dolehide, Alison Van Uytvanck, and Fiona Ferro before upsetting Barty.
11 Rank 11 Johanna Konta, Great Britain
Johanna Konta is a British professional tennis player who played for Australia until 2012. Born in Sydney, she moved to the U.K. when she turned fourteen. She became a British citizen in May 2012 and switched her sporting commitment to Great Britain from Australia.
She has won 11 singles and four doubles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit, as well as three singles titles on the WTA Tour.
10 Rank 10 Belinda Bencic, Switzerland
Swiss professional tennis player Belinda Bencic is attractive enough to be a model in the fashion industry. However, her tennis training has helped her reach as high as No.7 in the world. Belinda speaks three languages, English, Slovak, and Schwyzerdütsch, but she needed only one of them to win three singles and two doubles titles on the WTA Tour (the players must communicate with the Chair umpire).
9 Rank 9 Serena Williams, USA
Serena Williams is arguably the best female professional tennis player in the history of the game. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any man or woman in the Open Era. Her record includes victories in 72 WTA tournaments.
Williams is currently ranked No. 9, but she has ranked No. 1 six times and on her last occasion held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks.
If Serena were ranked in the men’s category, she most probably would be among the top 15 players in the world. There is little doubt she could beat most of the men on the ATP tour.
8 Rank 8 Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
Kiki Bertens said, “When I’m on the court, and all the elements are working for me, it’s just magic.”
A Dutch tennis player who turned professional in 2009, Bertens has experienced some ups and downs during her career on the WTA. However, she reached the No. 4 position May 13, 2019. No other Dutch female tennis player has ever been ranked as high.
7 Rank 7 Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
Despite suffering severe wounds to her playing left hand when a man with a knife attacked her, Petra Kvitova has had a stellar tennis career. She has won two Grand Slam titles, both Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, and she has 27 career singles titles.
Currently ranked No. 7, Kvitova reached a ranking as high as No. 2 on October 31, 2011.
6 Rank 6 Simona Halep, Romania
Romania might be famous for Dracula, medieval fortresses, and Nadia Comaneci, but the country also boasts one of the best female professional tennis players in the world with Simona Halep.
Despite her diminutive 5 feet 6-inch height, she is a giant on the tennis court. Currently ranked at No. 6, Halep has been No.1 two times, between 2017 and 2019.
5 Rank 5 Bianca Andreescu, Canada
At only 19 years of age, Bianca Andreescu has shaken the female tennis rankings. She reached the final of the U.S. Open Championship in 2019 and beat Serena Williams in straight sets.
In August 2019, Andreescu became the first Canadian woman to win the singles in the Canadian Open since Faye Urban did it in 1969. Currently ranked No.5 in the world she is destined to dominate women’s tennis soon.
4 Rank 4 Naomi Osaka, Japan
Naomi Osaka is the reigning Australian Open women's singles champion, and she is the first Asian player to hold the No. 1 ranking in singles. She has won three titles and reached five finals on the WTA Tour.
Perhaps most notable is Osaka’s finals win at the U.S. Open 2018, defeating Serena Williams after her outburst with the chair umpire over coaching.
3 Rank 3 Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
Ukrainian tennis player, Elina Svitolina turned professional in 2010 and has won two ITF and two WTA tournaments.
Svitolina spends her off-court time with another ranked professional tennis player, Gael Monfils. However, at a ranking of No. 13 on the men’s side, the 33-year-old Frenchman is outranked by his girlfriend at No. 3.
2 Rank 2 Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
Karolína Plíšková’s ranking at the No. 2 position is well-deserved. A former No. 1, she has been victorious in fifteen tournament singles title matches and five doubles titles.
Karolína’s twin sister also plays professional tennis. She commented about their rivalry, “It is tough to compete at 100% when you're not really sure you want to beat your sister.”
1 Rank 1 Ashleigh Barty, Australia
Australian Ashleigh Barty chose professional tennis over the game of cricket. She has followed in the footsteps of the first Australian woman to reach the No. 1 ranking, Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
Perhaps the crowning achievement in her young career is her victory at the 2019 French Open when she decisively defeated Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.
Sources: german-times.com, wtatennis.com, theguardian.com, bbc.com