After the drama of the recent Australian Open in Melbourne, where the women's final was decided between the top two seeds going into the tournament, it should come as no great surprise to learn that the champion Serena Williams has been confirmed as number one in the world on the latest WTA rankings' list. Maria Sharapova remains second after her runners-up spot, but loses ground on Serena at the top as she now stands a mighty 1,500 points behind her American rival.

Neither Simona Halep nor the Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova had particularly good Grand Slam experiences Down Under this time, but they retain their third and fourth places, respectively, although both are trailing the top two by some ground at present.

They may well feel that it was a missed opportunity to move up on Sharapova, given the additional points on offer during the Slams compared to other (less important) events on the tour.

Sharapova as reigning French champion and Kvitova as the one to beat at Wimbledon, will be hoping for strong summers to ensure that their rankings don't slip.

A noticeable gainer from her supreme efforts in Melbourne was the elder Williams sister, Venus, whose quarter-final performance ensured she rose seven places in the list up to 11th and provides her with a potential springboard into the top ten later in the year, injury and illness permitting. Her leap up the list was surpassed though by the semi-meteoric rise made by the young American Madison Keys.

Her earlier than expected elevation into the top twenty women was cemented by her brilliant achievements Down Under, where she was a surprise semi-finalist and only beaten by the eventual winner, Serena. The other semi-finalist in Australia, the Russian Ekaterina Makarova who lost to Sharapova, rose two places to ninth.

For every gainer on such ranking lists there is always a loser and the woman most impacted by her disappointing time in Australia, was the diminutive Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova who dropped eight places back to 18th position.

The rankings are especially important when it comes to the draw for the Slams, as they can cause a tough qualifying path through the events for the later stages as a player slides down them.