What Iga Swiatek’s Australian Open exit means for WTA Rankings as Coco Gauff could reach milestone

Iga Swiatek after losing to Linda Noskova

Iga Swiatek suffered a shock defeat at the 2024 Australian Open and there could be movement near the top of the WTA Rankings, with Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff still in contention.

The world No 1 was beaten in three sets by 50th-ranked Linda Noskova in the third round of the Melbourne major on Saturday – her earliest defeat at a Grand Slam since Wimbledon in 2022.

Despite her early exit at the year’s first Grand Slam, Swiatek will hold onto her position at the top of the WTA Rankings after the Australian Open.

The 22-year-old will only drop 110 points, having went one round further by reaching the fourth round at the 2023 edition of the tournament.

This will see the four-time Grand Slam winner’s points total fall from 9,880 to 9,770 after the event – a tally which cannot be caught by the chasing pack.

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek’s tactics in shock Australian Open loss questioned by pundits

World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka was on 8,905 points heading into the Australian Open, but will not be able to increase her total as she is the defending champion.

The 25-year-old Belarusian will remain on 8,905 points points if she can defend her title and claim the 2,000 points earned for a major triumph, but will drop points if she falls short of this.

Coco Gauff, who was ranked fourth prior to the tournament, is guaranteed to at least return to her previous career-high ranking of world No 3 after the event.

This is because current No 3 Elena Rybakina, who was a runner-up in Melbourne last year, will lose 1,230 points and slip to fifth position after her second round loss to Anna Blinkova. The 24-year-old Kazakh will see her points tally drop from 6,918 to 5,688.

Jessica Pegula, who lost in the second round to Clara Burel, will also climb above Rybakina and see her ranking improve from fifth place to fourth. The 29-year-old American will drop 360 points – from 6,065 to 5,705 – after reaching the quarter-finals in 2023.

Gauff could overtake Sabalenka to reach a new career-high ranking of world No 2 as she can increase her points total, having already matched her 2023 Australian Open result by progressing to the fourth round.

The 19-year-old will remain on the 6,660 points she had coming into the event if she loses in the last 16, but can reach 6,850 points if she makes the quarter-finals, 7,200 for the semi-finals, 7,720 if she loses in the final, and 8,420 if she wins the title.

Sabalenka will finish on 7,145 points if she loses in the fourth round, 7,335 with a quarter-final exit, 7,685 for making the last four, 8,205 if she is a runner-up, and 8,905 if she defends the title.

Gauff would, therefore, leapfrog Sabalenka to become world No 2 if she wins the title or reaches the final as the pair are both in the bottom half of the draw and would meet in a potential semi-final. The American could also overtake Sabalenka if she makes the last four and the Belarusian loses in the last 16.

Both players will play their fourth round matches on Sunday, with Gauff to face Magdalena Frech and Sabalenka to take on Amanda Anisimova.

Women’s Grand Slam points breakdown

Winner – 2000 points
Runner-up – 1300 points
Semi-finals – 780 points
Quarter-finals – 430 points
Round of 16 – 240 points
Round of 32 – 130 points
Round of 64 – 70 points
Round of 128 – 10 points

READ MORE: The 9 youngest Aus Open women’s champions in the Open Era: Can Mirra Andreeva break Martina Hingis’ record?

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