Naomi Osaka: Four-time Grand Slam winner drops out of world ranking top five

Following an update to the WTA rankings, Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has fallen from fifth to eighth in the world.

The 23-year-old enjoyed two stints as world number one in 2019, but was ousted by Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

Osaka has been ranked world number two for the majority of 2021 so far, but a decline in form has seen her fall down the standings.

She now sits at world number eight, overtaken by French Open winner Barbora Krejčíková, who has reached a career high of fifth in the world. Iga Świątek is in sixth and Sofia Kenin seventh.

Barty began her 59th consecutive week and 94th overall week at the top of the WTA rankings list.

The 25-year-old has the ninth longest reign at the number one spot in women's tennis history, and she looks certain to soon overtake Lindsay Davenport’s 98 weeks at the top.

Barty is followed in the rankings by Aryna Sabalenka in second, Karolína Plíšková in third and Elina Svitolina in fourth. Two-time Grand Slam winners Garbiñe Muguruza and Petra Kvitová round off the current top 10.

Teenager Clara Tauson has followed in the footsteps of Emma Raducanu and rocketed up the rankings following her victory at the Luxembourg Open. The Dane rose 18 places to 52nd in the world.

The 25-year-old Jasmine Paolini also jumped from 87th to 64th following her first WTA title at Portoroz.

Why is Naomi Osaka falling down the world rankings?

Osaka slipped from fifth to eighth in the world after the points from her US Open victory in 2020 dropped off her tally.

The star won the Australian Open in January but has since endured a tumultuous year, withdrawing from the French Open after causing a storm by declining to participate in media duties.

Osaka revealed she had "suffered long bouts of depression" since winning the US Open in 2018 and claimed people often had "no regard for mental health" during press conferences.

She then pulled out of Wimbledon, before exiting a home Olympic Games in the third round. A similar fate awaited her at the US Open.

In her post-match press conference, Osaka said she would be taking another hiatus from tennis, revealing she was uncertain about when she would return to the court. 

"Basically, I feel like I’m at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match," she said.

Osaka risks dropping out of the world top 10 if she misses at Indian Wells in October.

Nancy Gillen

Interested in: Football

Nancy has experience in reporting across a range of sports, but is particularly passionate about increasing the coverage of women's sport. She can usually be found celebrating or lamenting the latest Arsenal result.