American Ascension

The past few years have seen Americans enjoy considerable success on the WTA Tour which has moved 10 U.S. women into the Top 50 of the rankings, and another nine are ranked 51-100.


There is an extra element of intrigue with all that success in 2021, as only four of these women will be able to represent Team USA at the Olympics in Tokyo.


Two of these WTA stars are former Western & Southern Open champions, while several others have had deep runs in Cincinnati.


Here’s a look at the U.S. players in the Top 50:


No. 4 – Sofia Kenin (22-years-old)

Kenin had a sensational summer in 2019, breaking through with back-to-back semifinals in Canada and then Cincinnati, where she beat a pair of Top 10 foes (No. 7 Svitolina and No. 1 Osaka). It set the stage for a 2020 season that included the Australian Open title and a final at the French Open.


No. 7 – Serena Williams (39)

The two-time Western & Southern Open champion is no stranger to success anywhere. A 23-time Major champion, her Olympic success includes singles gold in 2012 and winning the doubles gold three times.


No. 14 – Jennifer Brady (25)

After claiming her maiden title at the first tournament held after play resumed last August, the former UCLA Bruin reached the semifinals of the US Open. She did even better this year in Melbourne, reaching the Australian Open final. In between those two major successes, Brady has reached two other semifinals.


No. 19 – Madison Keys (26)

Our 2019 champion is no stranger to the Olympics after she reached the semifinals of the 2016 Games in Rio. Keys, a native of Rock Island, Ill., has reached the quarterfinals or better at a Major seven times in her career, including a runner-up finish at the 2017 US Open.


No. 27 – Alison Riske (30)

The Pittsburgh was last seen in Cincinnati storming to the doubles quarterfinals with hometown hero Caty McNally in 2019. She owns a pair of WTA titles while reaching seven other finals. Her 2019 ranking rise was fueled by a run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals and a runner-up result in Wuhan.


No. 32 – Amanda Anisimova (19)

In 2018, just weeks before her 17th birthday, Anisimova reached the W&S Open Round of 16 in her sixth tournament. One year later she claimed her first title, becoming the youngest American to win on the WTA Tour since Serena Williams in 1999.


No. 33 – Jessica Pegula (27)

The Buffalo native teamed up with former Venus Williams coach David Witt in the summer of 2019 and immediately claimed her first title at Washington, D.C. She opened 2020 by reaching the final in Auckland, then reached the W&S Open quarterfinals. So far in 2021, she has reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and in Dubai as well as a semifinal in Doha.


No. 35 – Coco Gauff (17)

As a 15-year-old in 2019, Gauff burst onto the scene with a run to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. Later that year, she won her first singles title at Linz while teaming with Cincinnati’s McNally to claim a pair of doubles titles. She turned 17 in early March, and her 2021 season has already included a semifinal in Adelaide and quarterfinal in Dubai.


No. 40 – Danielle Collins (27)

A two-time NCAA champion while playing at the University of Virginia, Collins had her first pro breakthrough with a run to the semifinals at Miami in 2018. At Majors, she reached the semifinals in Australia in 2019 and the quarterfinals in Paris in 2020. This year in Australia, she reached a pair of quarterfinals and a semifinal at WTA events.


No. 48 – Sloane Stephens (27)

In the summer of 2017, Stephens had her best W&S Open with a run to the semifinals. Just weeks later, she was lifting the trophy in New York as the US Open champion. She owns six titles and has also finished runner-up at the French Open as well as the WTA Finals.