Naomi Osaka Tumbles in WTA Rankings Following Loss at Cincinnati Open 2021

Published 08/20/2021, 5:18 AM EDT
Aug 18, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts after returning a shot against Cori Gauff (USA) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


After nearly two months since withdrawing from the French Open, Naomi Osaka made her first appearance in a WTA tournament at the ongoing Cincinnati Open. However, she suffered a defeat to unseeded Jil Teichmann in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

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While this result could dent her confidence, it also has bigger ramifications in the WTA rankings. Projections show the 2020 US Open champion will lose her World No. 2 status this Monday.

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Naomi Osaka to drop to World No. 3 after Cincinnati Open exit

Osaka withdrew from the French Open after winning her opening match against Patricia Maria Tig. After skipping the post-match press conference, she cited mental health issues as the reason for her withdrawal. She skipped the subsequent Wimbledon Championships and other WTA 1000 tournaments leading up to the grass-court Grand Slam.

The new WTA rankings system froze any changes in rankings for a significant period of time during the COVID-19 crisis. However, Osaka‘s withdrawals this year meant she lost significant opportunities to gain ranking points. In addition, the 585 points she gained from reaching the finals of the Cincinnati Open last year get docked since it’s outside the 52-week rolling period.

Aug 19, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts during a change of ends against Jil Teichmann (SUI) during the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Although her Round of 16 exit this year got her 105 ranking points, it will not be enough to keep her World No. 2 standing. Hence, the US Open defending champion will defend her title in Flushing Meadows as the World No. 3.

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Aryna Sabalenka to achieve a new career-high ranking of #2

The Belarusian will replace Osaka as the new World No. 2 this Monday. Despite suffering a shock exit in the Cincinnati Open in the Round of 32, Sabalenka‘s performance in Wimbledon is enough to get the points needed to move ahead of the Japanese tennis star.

Aug 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus reacts after a point against Rebecca Marino of Canada (not pictured) during third round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Achieving World No. 2 status further highlights the 23-year-old’s rise, although she’s yet to win a Grand Slam. Although the Belarusian remains a favorite, expect Osaka to mount a stiff title defence in Flushing Meadows despite her stunning exit from Cincinnati.

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Sanket Nair

643 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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