For the time being, Angelique Kerber remains the top-ranked player in the world. However, when Monday comes around the rankings will update with the results of Wimbledon 2017 finalized. Kerber, who made the final last season, fell in the fourth round this season. Accordingly, she lost a lot of ranking points and her title from the 2016 Us Open won't be enough to buoy her any longer. It is the Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova that will seize the No. 1 ranking on Monday. How she accomplished that is interesting, because currently the Czech player does not hold an active Grand Slam title.

No. 1 but no Grand Slam title

In fact, the new World No. 1 hasn't won a major at any point in her career to date. She is actually a noteworthy Grand Slam underachiever from many points of view. Her 2016 US Open result and her 2017 French Open result are the only Grand Slams where she has seen at least the semifinals. She will join Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, and Dinara Safina as players to have held the No. 1 ranking at some point, but to not have won a major at any point. Pliskova has plenty of time to change that and the 2017 US Open promises to be a pivotal event for her. But all other previous top-ranked players besides Wozniacki, Jankovic, Safina, and now Pliskova have major titles to their credits from some point in their careers.

Getting the top ranking without winning a major is a tricky accomplishment. The top ranking is much more than winning an individual tournament or doing well on an individual surface. The top ranking is about being the most consistent player over the last 52 weeks of tennis on the WTA Tour. It encompasses all results on all surfaces from the low-tiered tournaments, to the Premier Mandatory ones, to the Grand Slams, and to the prestigious tour finals.

Pliskova's highlights in those events are as follows:

  • Eastbourne 2017 - winner
  • French Open 2017 - semifinals
  • Doha 2017 - winner
  • Brisbane 2017 - winner
  • US Open 2016 - runnerup
  • Cincinnati 2016 - winner

Pliskova 'backs in' to the top ranking

The news involving Pliskova becoming the top-ranked player is certainly anti-climatic to a certain degree.

As an early-round casualty at Wimbledon, she sort of 'backed in' to the World No. 1 ranking. She didn't charge out and get it at the All England Club, but rather she got to No. 1 when Simona Halep fell in the quarters on Tuesday. However, the top ranking is about the long term and not the last week or two. Pliskova's results have been the best over the last year as she is the women's athlete that was able to avoid injury while still competing at a very-high level.

That said, there is no guarantee that her stay on top of the world will be lengthy. With Cincinnati not far off, she has a major title defense coming up and will need to be sharp in the weeks and months ahead.

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