Sabalenka Qualifies For WTA Finals After Australian Open Win Thanks To New Rule

Sabalenka Qualifies For WTA Finals After Australian Open Win Thanks To New Rule

by Nurein Ahmed

Aryna Sabalenka is assured of a spot at the 2024 WTA Finals after the WTA revised the qualifying criteria at the start of the season.

Sabalenka won her second Grand Slam title at this year's Australian Open with a convincing victory in the final against China's Qinwen Zheng. She did not drop a single set on her march to the title and became the first woman to defend the Australian Open in 11 years.

Sabalenka, who tops the prize money charts at the end of the first month of the new season, has amassed 2,325 points after reaching back-to-back finals at the two tournaments she played in 2024. She was a runner-up in Brisbane, suffering one of her worst losses.

But she made amends in Melbourne, where she was the last woman standing at the end of another barnstorming Australian Open, filled with drama and excitement. Sabalenka's qualification for the WTA Finals is based on new changes that the women's governing body has instilled this year.

The WTA has aligned its qualification system for its flagship year-end tournament to that of the ATP. The top seven will qualify based on the race for accumulating the most points in 18 tournaments, in which eight appearances must come from the WTA 1000/500 level.

The player who will qualify in the eighth spot is the highest-ranked 2024 Grand Slam winner not already qualified and ranked between 8th and 20th. It is not feasible that Sabalenka would go lower than 20th, meaning that she has all but secured her place at the season finale.

It will be the fourth year in a row that Sabalenka will play at the WTA Finals, which is expected to have a new home in 2024. Currently, the rumor is that Saudi Arabia will host the event and that the WTA is biding its time before making the groundbreaking announcement.


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