Russian ace rewarded for hot streak

Russia’s Anastasia Potapova has broken into the world’s top 50 women’s players for the first time as the youngster reaps the rewards of a run of form which has seen her go deep into the latter rounds of recent tournaments.

The Saratov-born Potapova moved up 11 places in the updated WTA singles ratings on Monday to a career-best rating of number 48.

The 21-year-old’s ascent comes after she reached at least the semifinals of her past three tournaments.

Potapova went to the last four at the Ladies Open Lausanne in mid-July before falling to Olga Danilovic of Serbia.

The Russian repeated that run at the German Open in Berlin, where she was beaten by Estonian world number two Anett Kontaveit.

Potaova went one better at the Prague Open, although she was defeated in Sunday’s final by Czech ace Marie Bouzkova.

That loss was tempered by victory in the doubles, where Potapova won the title alongside countrywoman Yana Sizikova – her third WTA pairs crown.

Potapova clinched her first WTA singles title earlier this season when she picked up the Istanbul Cup by beating fellow Russian Veronika Kudermetova back in April.

Potapova, who boasts career earnings of more than $1.7 million, will aim to continue an upwards trajectory and is now ranked fourth among Russian women in the WTA singles ratings.

The highest-rated Russian female star remains Daria Kasatkina at world number 12, while Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova occupy 19th and 28th spots respectively.

Former Russian women’s number one Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova announced last week that she is hoping to have recovered from a layoff caused by a knee injury in time for the Australian Open in January.

Pavlyuchenkova finds herself down in 98th position in the world after falling during her absence, which began before the French Open back in May.

In the men’s ATP ratings, Russian ace Daniil Medvedev maintained his place as world number one, bringing the total number of weeks he has topped the charts to 11.

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