Stosur climbs one WTA spot despite form

Despite her disappointing first round exit from the Australian Open, Samantha Stosur has climbed one spot in the latest WTA rankings.

The Queenslander has moved to No.26, but in an ironic twist the new darling of Australian women’s tennis, Daria Gavrilova, has gone the other way in spite of her good form.

Gavrilova, who reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, has dropped from 33 to 35 in the standings.

Croatian-born Ajla Tomljanovic – girlfriend of Nick Kyrgios – has suffered the biggest fall, tumbling from 74 to 100.

However, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic is all the talk.

The Swiss has become the first teenager in seven years to reach the top 10 after climbing to ninth.

A run to the final at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy ensured Bencic, 18, became the first woman aged under 20 to enter the top 10 since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.

“As a small kid, everyone is dreaming to one day become top 10,” Bencic, who won two titles in 2015, said in a statement.

“I now realise that all the hard work paid off. Until now, I didn’t know if I would make it. But this is an amazing moment for me and just … my dream. My goal is reached.”

A sport that was once the domain of teenage champions, with players such as Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario and Martina Hingis winning grand slam titles before turning 20, has seen a shift in recent years.

Maria Sharapova’s triumph at the 2006 US Open was the last time a teenaged player won a slam, while last year’s four majors were all won by 30-something women as Serena Williams and Flavia Pennetta walked away with the spoils.

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