A nice after-effect of the Australian Open was that three of the four biggest ranking level gainers in the current top 50 were Americans.
Madison Keys went up 15 spots 35-20
Irina-Camelia Begu went up 8 spots 42-34
Venus has a big win in Dubai (470 pts) last year to defend in February, but then not too many points until the Rogers Cup in August. The 9th ranked player, Makarova, who has a 495-pt lead over Venus, also has a February victory (Pattaya City, 280 pts) to defend.The 10th ranked player, Angelique Kerber, is 340 pts ahead of Venus but has 585 pts to defend as a result of her finalist run at Doha last year. Venus is scheduled to play the two middle-eastern events.
The biggest losers, in terms of ranking levels, were Sloane Stephens32 to 41, and Dominika Cibulkova, 10 to 18.It could have been much worse for Domi, of course, with finalist points to defend; she can’t be too unhappy with her QF finish.
There are now eight Americans in the top 50 and 14 in the top 100. There are four Czechs in the top 23.