Kanepi rockets up rankings to 63rd on back of Australian Open form

Kaia Kanepi.
Kaia Kanepi. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Kaia Kanepi has risen over 50 spots in the World Tennis Association's latest rankings, to 63rd place, on the back of her recent success in the Australian Open, where she reached the quarter finals.

The veteran player, who has now reached the quarter finals of all four grand slam tournaments, made the biggest leap of any major player in the newly-unveiled rankings, while Estonia's number one player, Anett Kontaveit, fell two places, to ninth, after a disappointing showing in Melbourne, where she was knocked out in round two.

Kanepi, 36, from Haapsalu, went into the Australian Open ranked 115th in the world, but overcame 2016 Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber (Germany), Czech player Marie Bouzková and local player Maddison Inglis to reach the last 16, before going on to shock world number two Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) to reach the quarter finals, for the first time in Australia during her long career.

Kanepi ultimately lost to Iga Swiatek (Poland).

Anett Kontaveit saw a transformation in form in the second half of last season, winning nearly all her last 30 encounters, including two WTA tournament wins in Russia and Romania, and ending up ranked seventh in the world. She also reached the semi-final of the WTA Sydney Tennis Classic, ahead of the Australian Open, but lost in round two in Melbourne, to 19-year old former top junior player Clara Tauson.

Ashleigh Barty, the tournament's ultimate winner, remains in first place, with Aryna Sabalenka still in second in the WTA rankings update. Czech player Barbora Krejcikova lies third, Iga Swiatek fourth.

Former world number one Naomi Osaka (Japan), who won in Melbourne in 2021, dropped even more places than Kanepi rose, 71, to 85th place in the new rankings. Osaka was eliminated in round three in Australia this year, while the 2020 tournament winner Sofia Kenin (U.S.) has seen a similar fall from grace - 82 places, to 95th.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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