Why Madrid Open title could be pivotal for Aryna Sabalenka in keeping hold of World No.2 spot as points set to drop

Saturday, 04 May 2024 at 00:00
Aryna Sabalenka ensured she remains as the world No. 2 for another week after defeating Elena Rybakina in the semifinals of the Madrid Open. The 2-time Australian Open champion was on the brink of losing her second-ranking position to Coco Gauff, in an increasingly tight battle for the top spots in the WTA Ranking.
For now, Iga Swiatek remains comfortably at the world No. 1 spot, and amidst the clay swing, it seems unlikely that she will relinquish her position. The Polish player has already surpassed 100 weeks at the top of the WTA Ranking and is guaranteed to stay there, at least until after the French Open, where she defends her title.

The Battle for No. 2

However, Swiatek's pursuers remain within striking distance, with only details defining their positions. If Rybakina had defeated Sabalenka in the semifinals, Gauff would have been No. 2. Furthermore, if the Kazakh had claimed the title, she would have also taken the No. 3 spot, displacing Sabalenka.
The Belarusian had a tough challenge against Elena Rybakina, who dominated during the first part of the match and was up 6-1, 4-2 before Sabalenka's comeback began. Sabalenka sealed the victory with a score of 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 and advanced to the final of the Madrid Open for the second consecutive year.
The champion of the Madrid Open is yet to be determined, with the same finalists as in 2023. A potential victory for the Polish player will further extend her lead in the rankings, while also favoring Rybakina and Gauff to surpass Sabalenka in the coming weeks.
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Sabalenka was crowned champion at the 2023 Madrid Open after defeating Swiatek in the final with a score of 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Defense of Points in the Coming Weeks

Considering the points defended by the top 4 players in the rest of the clay swing, Swiatek defends 2,215 points for reaching the quarterfinals of the Rome Open and winning the title at Roland Garros. Rybakina follows with 1,130 points for winning the Rome Open title and reaching the third round at the French Open.
Sabalenka defends 815 points for reaching the second round of the Rome Open and reaching the semifinals at the French Open, while Gauff has to defend 465 points for reaching the third round at Rome and the quarterfinals at the French Open.

Top 4 WTA players' ranking without Rome 2023 and French Open 2023 points

PlayerPointsMax. (if wins Madrid Open)
Iga Swiatek8,3458,695
Coco Gauff6,818
Aryna Sabalenka6,7087,058
Elena Rybakina5,543

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