The grass court season kicked off this week with the Aegon Nottingham Open in Nottingham, England and the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Both were International-level events and brought no changes to the Top 8.
Serena Williams leads the pack at No.1, with Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova battling for the No.2 position. Carla Suarez Navarro holds the No.4 spot with Roland Garros runner-up Lucie Safarova rounding out the Top 5. Czechs Petra Kvitova and WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova sit at Nos. 6 and 7, respectively, with Roland Garros semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky rounding out the Top 8.
It was a week of WTA Rising Stars making their mark on the big stage with two players taking the titles. In Nottingham, 17-year-old Ana Konjuh of Croatia became the youngest winner of a WTA title since Tamira Paszek won the Portoroz crown in 2006. Konjuh cut her Road to Singapore ranking in half with her title run, rising from No.121 to No.56. Runner-up Monica Niculescu rose from No.85 to No.53.
In her fourth career final, Italian Camila Giorgi captured the Topshelf Open, downing fellow WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic in the championship match. Giorgi stands at No.32 in this week’s standings, while Bencic comes in at No.42.
This week, Birmingham hosts the first Premier event of the year held on grass. Halep, Ana Ivanovic (RTS No.12), Suarez Navarro and Angelique Kerber (RTS No.10) are the Top 4 seeds looking to increase their Singapore chances on the grass with the 470 points Sunday’s winner gets. Eugenie Bouchard, Pliskova and Andrea Petkovic are also in the Birmingham draw.