WTA rankings: Who is defending the most points on clay?

Published by Leigh Rogers

BREAKTHROUGH: Jelena Ostapenko was an unexpected French Open champion last year; Getty Images
Find out how many ranking points the WTA’s top 20 players are defending during the clay swing…

Over the next 10 weeks the world’s best players will slide and grind in clay-court tournaments across four different continents, in a swing that culminates with the French Open in June.

The green clay of Charleston is the first stop as the WTA Tour’s clay swing begins this week, with defending champion Daria Kasatkina one of seven top-20 players in the field.

World No.1 and last year’s French Open runner-up Simona Halep is not slated to start her clay campaign until Stuttgart later this month – and when she does, the pressure will be on.

> REPORT: Stephens beats Ostapenko to win Miami Open

Halep has 3070 points defend on clay, more than a third of her current ranking total. With world No.2 Caroline Wozniacki only defending nine per cent of her ranking points, Halep needs a strong showing to retain her No.1 ranking.

Reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko has 2645 points to defend – which equates to almost half of her ranking total.

Rank Player Points defending % of point total
1 Simona Halep 3070 37%
2 Caroline Wozniacki 626 9%
3 Garbine Muguruza 601 10%
4 Elina Svitolina 1620  28%
5 Jelena Ostapenko 2645 47%
6 Karolina Pliskova 1136 24%
7 Caroline Garcia 610 13%
8 Venus Williams 431 10%
9 Sloane Stephens 0 0%
10 Petra Kvitova 70  2%
11 Angelique Kerber 132  4%
12 Daria Kasatkina 612 20%
13 Julia Goerges 156 5%
14 Madison Keys 82 3%
15 CoCo Vandeweghe 280 11%
16 Anastasija Sevastova 780 31%
17 Magdalena Rybarikova 70 2%
18 Ashleigh Barty 206 9%
19 Kristina Mladenovic 1386 60%
20 Elise Mertens 341 15%

Keep an eye on: Sloane Stephens, who won Charleston in 2016, missed last year’s clay swing with injury. With no points to defend, the American could climb much higher than her current career high of No.9.

In trouble: Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic was a finalist in Stuttgart and Madrid last year, before making a stirring run to the Roland Garros quarterfinals. The 24-year-old has struggled with form and consistency since, adding to the pressure as she aims to defend 60 per cent of her ranking points.

Beware: Former world No.1s Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka missed last year’s clay swing, while Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber also have little to defend. These former Grand Slam champions all have a great chance to make big ranking improvements.

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