The clay season kicked off in Charleston, South Carolina, USA and the Premier 700 tournament provided some shifts in the Road to Singapore Leaderboard.
The biggest news out of the Family Circle Cup was the doubles event won by Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza. Partnering for the first time at Indian Wells, the duo has won their first three tournaments together and have gone 14-0. After sweeping Indian Wells and Miami, the Charleston title bumped Hingis/Mirza to the No. 1 spot on the Leaderboard.
At 28, Mirza is playing some of the best tennis of her career and with the title, she took the No. 1 doubles ranking for the first time in her career. "It's a dream for every kid to be No.1 one day," Mirza said to the crowd at the trophy ceremony. "No tournament has been as special to me as the Family Circle Cup, and no tournament will ever be as special to me, because I became No.1 here," Mirza added.
German Angelique Kerber rebounded from a tough start to the season, where she dropped seven of her previous nine matches entering Charleston. Kerber rallied her way to the Charleston crown for her first clay court title of her career. A WTA Finals qualifier in 2012 and 2013, Kerber’s success in Charleston sent her up 19 spots to No. 12.
Madison Keys of the United States fell in a tight three-set battle to Kerber in the final, but her result launched her back into the Top 8, rising from No. 11 to No. 6. At 20 years old, she is the youngest member of the 8 players and is one of three Americans in the Top 8 (Serena Williams, No. 1 and Venus Williams, No. 8).
The top 5 spots on the Leaderboard didn’t change with World No. 1 Serena Williams sitting atop of the rankings. Simona Halep sits 390 points behind at No. 2, with Maria Sharapova, Carla Suarez Navarro and WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova rounding out the top 5. Ekaterina Makarova stayed at No. 7 behind Keys and Venus Williams finishes out the Top 8.
The clay season continues with the Claro Open Colsanitas, an International event in Bogota, Colombia. WTA Rising Stars Elina Svitolina, Monica Puig and Ajla Tomljanovic are the top 3 seeds looking to move up the Road to Singapore Leaderboard.