Gauff Leads Sabalenka and Swiatek In Olympics Race Qualification

Gauff Leads Sabalenka and Swiatek In Olympics Race Qualification

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

Coco Gauff has taken an early lead over close rivals Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek in the Olympics Race for the women's singles tennis event in Paris next year.

The 2024 tennis event at the Paris Olympics is scheduled to commence on July 27, 2024, and will run till August 4, 2024, at the iconic Stade Roland Garros, the home of the French Open Grand Slam.

It will be the first Olympic tennis event to be played on the dirt since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Just like the men's tournament, the women's singles will be contested in six rounds of knock-out format, featuring 64 players in the draw.

Out of these, 56 will qualify based on ranking merit. Rankings will be determined based on the performances achieved in the last 52 weeks of the qualifying cycle.

In that case, the ITF rankings will be based on the period June 12, 2023, to June 12, 2024. So far, World No. 3 Coco Gauff is the frontrunner in the race to the Olympics, having earned 4,200 points.

Gauff has enjoyed her most productive spell since mid-June, achieving a number of firsts. She won her maiden WTA 500, 1000, and Grand Slam title in that timespan.

Understandably, the 19-year-old has built a healthy lead over closest challengers Iga Swiatek, Marketa Vondrousova, and Aryna Sabalenka, who account for the other Slams won in 2023.

Swiatek, in second place, has earned 2,860 points, which is just a meager 25 points ahead of Vodnrousova in third. Considering that the event will be played on the clay courts of Roland Garros (where Switek has won a hat-trick of titles), she will be the favorite to give Poland their first tennis medal.

Sabalenka, whose participation is doubtful due to the current ban imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Russian and Belarusian athletes, is in third place with 2,805 points.

The USA has three women in the current Top 10. Aside from Gauff, they'll have better odds of winning at least one medal, with Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys also tallying four-digit ranking points.

Belinda Bencic is the defending champion but lies a lowly 26th in the current race. A key rule to note is that only the best four ranked players (in the top 56) per country can qualify for the singles event.


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