Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova will be vying for the number one spot that is currently held by Angelique Kerber in the WTA rankings at this year’s Wimbledon. Kerber gained the number one spot in 2016, in which she won the Australian and US Open and reached the final at Wimbledon where she lost to Serena Williams. She has struggled with her form in 2017 and that has let Simona Halep catch up on the rankings. Karolina Pliskova has a chance on gaining on the top two spots if she defeats Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Aegon International.
The equation is quite simple for Kerber – on paper at least. She needs to outlast Pliskova and Halep at Wimbledon to retain the top spot. Here’s a look at what the two players below her need to do to dethrone the German.
Pliskova made the race a three-pronged one when she outlasted both Halep and Kerber in the ongoing Aegon International. A win in the final against Caroline Wozniacki would be shot in the arm for her bid to reach the number one. If she beats Wozniacki in the final, she moves up to 6855 points to still stand behind Kerber (7035) and Halep (6920). As it stands, though, she needs to reach at least the quarter-finals at Wimbledon to reach the number one spot and that is provided that both Kerber and Halep don’t advance beyond the first round. If either of them do reach the round the round of 16, Pliskova will have to finish in the semi-final or more.
Halep could have clinched the top spot had she won the French Open where Kerber had lost in the opening round to round off a terrible claycourt season. This week, she had a second bite at the cherry. She needed to do better than Kerber at the Aegon International in Eastbourne but as she let her momentum drop against Wozniacki, the chance went astray. The Romanian led 7-5, 3-0 before Wozniacki came storming back to take the contest. Later in the day, Kerber lost to Britain’s Johanna Konta. At Wimbledon, Halep needs to reach at least the Round of 32 to overtake Kerber. If the German does advance to the Round of 32 or beyond, Halep needs to ensure that she outlasts Kerber in the tournament.