Gauff Still Top In Olympics Race Ahead Of Rivals Swiatek And Sabalenka

Gauff Still Top In Olympics Race Ahead Of Rivals Swiatek And Sabalenka

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff kept her lead in the Olympics Race over Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka as the marathon to next year's showpiece nears its halfway stage.

The Olympics Race started accumulating points on June 12, 2023, with Coco Gauff earning 4,200 points. A spectacular US swing yielded title wins in Washington, and Cincinnati, and a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open. She has won more points since mid-June than any other player.

Iga Swiatek will champion Poland's bid for a first tennis medal at the Olympics. She is in the second place. Her first WTA 1000 title of the season in Beijing enabled her to take a massive leap in the race as it accounts for a huge chunk of her 2,860 points total.

Marketa Vondrousova (Tokyo silver medalist) remains in third place ahead of Aryna Sabalenka. But the World No. 1 will be waiting on the International Olympic Committee's decision regarding the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Aside from Sabalenka, there are as many as six players represented by either Russian or Belarusian colors who currently are in the qualifying spots. These are Daria Kasatkina, Liudmila Samsonova, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Veronika Kudermetova, Victoria Azarenka, and 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva.

The USA has eight women in the world's Top 56, but only the four best-ranked players can qualify. Aside from Gauff, the other high-ranked Americans are Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys, and Sofia Kenin. Tokyo bronze medalist Elina Svitolina is Ukraine's top-ranked woman in the Olympics race.

No African woman has won an Olympic tennis medal. But Ons Jabeur will shoulder the hopes of the African continent. She is the only African woman in the Top 56 (sitting sixth).

The defending Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic is Switzerland's top-ranked woman, and is in 28th place, while China's newest crop of talent will likely be led by Qinwen Zheng, who sits in 13th place with 1,358 points.


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