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Osaka clings to top spot as Halep cuts gap


Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts after defeating Croatia’s Donna Vekic in their quarterfinal match at the WTA Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on April 26, 2019. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP)

Naomi Osaka narrowly retained her number one ranking on Monday ahead of Simona Halep after the Romanian missed the chance to reclaim top spot following defeat in the Madrid Open final.

The 21-year-old Osaka lost in the last eight in the Spanish capital, but the Japanese star will stay at the summit for at least another week as Halep was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Kiki Bertens.

The Dutchwoman became the first woman to win Madrid without dropping a set and climbed to a career-high ranking of fourth following the biggest title of her career.


Angelique Kerber moved up one place to third, while last year’s Madrid champion Petra Kvitova slipped three spots to fifth.

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic continued her resurgence by jumping from 18th to 15th after beating Osaka on her run to the semi-finals.

WTA rankings as of May 13:

1. Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6356 pts

2. Simona Halep (ROM) 6117 (+1)

3. Angelique Kerber (GER) 5285 (+1)

4. Kiki Bertens (NED) 5115 (+3)

5. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 5050 (-3)

6. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 4866

7. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 4786 (-2)

8. Sloane Stephens (USA) 4656

9. Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 4425

10. Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 3500

11. Serena Williams (USA) 3461

12. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 3252

13. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 3240

14. Madison Keys (USA) 3010

15. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 2888 (+3)

16. Anett Kontaveit (EST) 2855 (-1)

17. Wang Qiang (CHN) 2815 (-1)

18. Julia Goerges (GER) 2520 (-1)

19. Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 2415

20. Elise Mertens (BEL) 2305

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Naomi Osaka
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