Gauff In Pole Position To Become New World No. 2 After Madrid Open

Gauff In Pole Position To Become New World No. 2 After Madrid Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff is currently sitting at a career-high ranking, but that's not her ceiling because she could replace Aryna Sabalenka as World No. 2 by the end of the Madrid Open.

On arrival in Madrid, Gauff and Sabalenka are separated by 590 points in the official WTA rankings. Because the Belarusian won the tournament last year, she cannot gain points. Instead, she will need to defend them.

Sabalenka is starting the tournament with 6848 points (having dropped 1000 points as champion). Gauff, meanwhile, only reached the third round last year, where she was routinely beaten by Paula Badosa.

Therefore, the young American drops only 65 points and can gain a maximum of 935 points. She starts her campaign with 7193 points. So, technically, Gauff occupies a career-high position of World No. 2 in the live rankings.

What Does Gauff Need To Do To Overtake Sabalenka?

As mentioned at the top of the article, Sabalenka must defend her crown to have the same number of points as before the tournament started, which is 7848. She cannot add to that number.

If Sabalenka successfully retains the title, she will remain No. 2 with 7848. Gauff, in that scenario, can attain 7843 points by finishing as a runner-up. The two players are in opposite halves of the draw, which means they could meet in the final to decide the No. 2 ranking.

For Sabalenka, it's the most assured way of securing her spot in the top two. For Gauff, a runner-up finish will suffice to achieve a new career high, provided Sabalenka does not win the tournament.

However, the third seed faces an almighty battle, with a likely semifinal showdown against Iga Swiatek. The 20-year-old has a poor record against the Pole, and if she were to lose that potential duel, she would be stuck with 7583 points. She must hope Sabalenka loses in the final at the very least (Sabalenka will have 7498 points in that scenario).


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