Iga Swiatek & Aryna Sabalenka First Two Players To Qualify For 2023 WTA Finals

Iga Swiatek & Aryna Sabalenka First Two Players To Qualify For 2023 WTA Finals

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka are ahead of the rest of the field on the WTA Tour, and that also applies when qualifying for the 2023 WTA Finals.

The year-end competition is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the calendar, but its prestige doesn't come from a long history. It's more about the nature of the tournament, as only the eight best players can qualify for the competition.

There is no other tournament that would have a similarly strong field, as players are split into two groups of four, and in the group stage, they all have to complete three matches against the other Top 8 players.

Every year, the WTA Race is closely followed, but it isn't until the latter stages of the season that fans start observing who qualified for the competition. Last year, Swiatek was super fast when she booked her spot already in June, and this year has been very similar.

Along with Elena Rybakina, who is the player closest to joining the two, Sabalenka and Swiatek have been the most dominant players on the WTA Tour. While the Belarusian won the Australian Open, the young Pole triumphed at the Roland Garros, and they also split some other trophies.

Because of that, as of her semifinal run at Wimbledon, Sabalenka collected a total of 6455 points in 2023. On the other hand, Swiatek has 770 points less, with her total being at 5685. Yet, the Pole is still the World No. 1 in the WTA Rankings, but that can change already after the Belarusian plays her next match.

The reason is simple, Swiatek lost in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and allowed her main rival to overtake her in the rankings. But if the Pole wants to find positives in her Wimbledon run, it will be certainly the fact that along with Sabalenka, she qualified for the 2023 WTA Finals.

Last year, Caroline Garcia sensationally won the event, and while the young Pole qualified already in June, Sabalenka was among the last players to qualify, making the cut as the seventh player on the list, with only 175 points ahead of the ninth Veronika Kudermetova.

Funnily, the two succeeded in their respective group stages last year and then met in the semifinals. Sabalenka overpowered until-then-dominant Swiatek but fell short against Garcia in the final.

Currently, behind the two in the 2023 WTA Race, Elena Rybakina is third with 4891 points, Jessica Pegula fourth with 2975 points, Petra Kvitova is fifth with 2355 points, and Ons Jabeur is sixth with 2261 points; however, the Tunisian is still in play at Wimbledon.

The Roland Garros finalist, Karolina Muchova is seventh with 2150 points, and Coco Gauff would be the last player to qualify at the moment with 2115 points, only 75 points ahead of the ninth Belinda Bencic.

In 2023, the WTA Finals should be held at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center Stadium in Shenzhen, China, and while the date is yet to be specified, it should be in October.


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