The draw for the 2023 WTA Finals has been released, in which the race for the No. 1 ranking will be determined.
Sabalenka and Swiatek learned before the draw ceremony that they wouldn't be paired in the same group because they were drawn from the same pots. But the draw is set to rekindle some exciting rematches.
The WTA Finals usually begin in the round-robin phase, where two groups of four players will vie to finish in the top two. The top finishers in each group will face the second-placed players in the other group in the semifinal (knockout phase).
Bacalar Group (Sabalenka, Rybakina, Pegula, Sakkari)
The first group will see a redux of the Australian Open final. World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka will play each of Elena Rybakina (whom she has lost to twice since beating her in Melbourne), Jessica Pegula, and Maria Sakkari. Sabalenka has a winning record against all three of them.
Pegula and Sakkari (called in to replace the injured Karolina Muchova) have played each other nine times, with the Greek edging the American 5-4. Sakkari is unbeaten in five matches in Mexico, a run that includes her first WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara.
Chetumal Group (Swiatek, Gauff, Jabeur, Vondrousova)
The second group pits World No. 2 Iga Swiatek against US Open champion Coco Gauff. It is the most exciting match that tennis fans will be looking forward to in this group. Swiatek leads Gauff 8-1 in the head-to-head, but their dynamics have changed this year, with Gauff beating her en route to the Cincinnati title, and she's got the aura of a major champion.
We'll also get a Wimbledon final rematch with Ons Jabeur squaring off against Marketa Vondrousova. The Tunisian was eliminated in the group stage on her debut appearance at the WTA Finals last year and she's had some close battles with the Czech in their rivalry (4-3 Vondrousova).
The order of play has not been released but should be expected at some point on Saturday. The tournament organizers are currently putting the finishing touches on the stadium court so that players can be able to acclimatize to the court conditions before the start of play on Sunday.