Rybakina Secures World No. 4 Ranking Despite Untimely Rome Withdrawal

Rybakina Secures World No. 4 Ranking Despite Untimely Rome Withdrawal

by Nurein Ahmed

Elena Rybakina's spot in the world's top four will remain intact despite her forced withdrawal from the 2024 Italian Open.

The big-serving Kazakh was aiming to defend her crown in Rome and traveled to the Italian capital in time. But she felt unwell on the eve of her first match and officially pulled out from the event.

Because Rybakina drops the full 1000 points for her no-show as defending champion, she can't make up the gap that exists between herself and the likes of Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, and Coco Gauff in the rankings, at least for the next three weeks.

However, the 24-year-old has established a huge gap with fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula, who was also absent from the last WTA 1000 tournament before Roland Garros because of injury.

Pegula is scheduled to play in Strasbourg after Rome, where she can earn a maximum of 500 points. However, she will still be short by at least 500 points to Rybakina in fourth place. Therefore, the former Wimbledon champion has locked the World No. 4 ranking for now.

This also means Rybakina will be seeded at No. 4 at Roland Garros, which begins on May 26th. She will have plenty of points to gain in Paris after withdrawing from the tournament in the third round last season.

It's not the first time this year that Rybakina has been bothered by health concerns that forced her to tweak her schedule. She withdrew from Dubai ahead of her quarterfinal match and then Indian Wells altogether because of injuries.

Rybakina also missed Kazakhstan's qualifying tie against Japan after the Miami Open final, presumably due to fatigue. When fit and healthy, she has been firing on all cylinders in 2024, winning the joint-most titles with three, all coming at the WTA 500 level. It is also the most titles she has won in a single season.


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