Not even the third try was a lucky charm for Simona Halep, as after lost chances at the French Open and Eastbourne, the Romanian failed to grab the No.1 ranking from Angelique Kerber by losing her Wimbledon quarterfinal to Johanna Konta, meaning that Karolina Pliskova will be the new top-ranked WTA player when the standings are updated on Monday.
Halep at the number 1 ranking pic.twitter.com/cYkoR1rvZL
— 🎾Liam🎾 (@fanofwta) July 11, 2017
The second-ranked Halep first had a chance to clinch the No.1 ranking in the French Open final, but the claycourt Grand Slam title went into the hands of underdog Jelena Ostapenko, 4-6 6-4 6-3. At her next tournament, on the grass of the Aegon International Eastbourne, the 25-year-old was two matches away from occupying the historic ranking, but lost to Caroline Wozniacki 5-7 6-4 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Shortly afterwards, at Wimbledon, Halep got her third opportunity.
Halep’s game whenever she is close to the no.1 ranking 😳 pic.twitter.com/B5cqMA8Bao
— Mlaga (@Mlaga7) July 11, 2017
Current world No.1 Kerber lost in the fourth round of Wimbledon, having had to make at least the final to retain her ranking, meaning that Halep’s win in the quarterfinals would automatically take her to the top spot. Despite winning the opening set and being two points away from victory in the second-set tiebreak, that was not to happen and British darling Johanna Konta made history for her country by winning that tiebreak and then the deciding set, becoming the first British semifinalist at Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in 1978. Konta’s 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 6-4 triumph booked her a meeting with five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, who is heading back to the Top 10.
Notice that in all these three matches Halep won the first set!
Halep and the No. 1 ranking pic.twitter.com/CVquhLqcF1
— Craig 🙂 (@craigh1594) July 11, 2017
So, third-ranked Karolina Pliskova will be the new WTA No.1 in Monday! It feels a bit weird to congratulate her, as the Czech lost to Magdalena Rybarikova way back in the second round of Wimbledon, but the big-server definitely deserves the top spot.
The WTA CEO Steve Simon promptly acknowledged Pliskova’s big achievement.
In the meantime, Halep will wait for yet another chance, dreading that this nightmare could come true:
— Bjoern Rietz (@bar78) July 11, 2017