WTA Rankings: Iga Swiatek’s lead precarious, Elena Rybakina the big winner
Iga Swiatek started her 60th consecutive week at No 1 in the world on Monday and, although her lead over Aryna Sabalenka is not quite hanging by a threat, she is in danger of losing top spot after the French Open.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Swiatek failed to defend her Italian Open crown as she exited the tournament at the quarter-final stage after retiring with an injury from her clash against Elena Rybakina and – as a result – dropped 685 points to move to 8,940 points.
Australian Open champion Sabalenka fared even worse in Rome as she lost in the second round, but Swiatek was the bigger loser and the gap between the top two is now down to “just” 1,399 points.
A 1,399-point lead is quite significant for regular WTA Tour events, but it is not the case for Grand Slams and the French Open is up next where 2,000 points will be on offer to the winner.
To make things even more interesting, Swiatek is the Roland Garros defending champion while Sabalenka only has 130 points to defend as she lost in the third round in Paris last year. An early defeat for the Pole at the clay-court Grand Slam and a deep run for Sabalenka could see a change at the top.
As for the rest of the top 20, American Jessica Pegula remains third with Rybakina the big winner after she won her maiden WTA 1000 title on clay when Anhelina Kalinina retired injured during the final.
The Wimbledon champion moved up two places and she is now at a career-high No 4 and on 5,205 points. The Kazakh star is also a dark horse for the world No 1 ranking at the French Open as a title run will see her move to 7,075 points (she also lost in the third round in 2022).
Coco Gauff dropped two places to No 6 with the rest of the top 10 unchanged.
Jelena Ostapenko is back up to No 17 after she reached the semi-final in Rome while Ukraine’s Kalinina jumps up 22 places to career-best No 25 after reaching her first-ever WTA 1000 final at the Italian Open.
WTA Rankings Top 20
1. Iga Swiatek Poland 8,940 points
2. Aryna Sabalenka – 7,541
3. Jessica Pegula United States 5,205
4. Elena Rybakina Kazakhstan 5,090
5. Caroline Garcia France 5,025
6. Coco Gauff United States 4,305
7. Ons Jabeur Tunisia 3,541
8. Maria Sakkari Greece 3,391
9. Daria Kasatkina – 3,275
10. Petra Kvitova Czech Republic 3,162
11. Veronika Kudermetova – 2,950
12. Belinda Bencic Switzerland 2,750
13. Barbora Krejcikova Czech Republic 2,680
14. Beatriz Haddad Maia Brazil 2,420
15. Liudmila Samsonova – 2,236
16. Karolina Pliskova Czech Republic 2,160
17. Jelena Ostapenko Latvia 2,130
18. Victoria Azarenka – 2,087
19. Qinwen Zheng China 1,998
20. Madison Keys United States 1,861
READ MORE: 2023 French Open: When does it take place, who are absent, draw, daily schedule, TV channels, prize money
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