Aryna Sabalenka worked her entire life to become world number one, and she finally got it done after the 2023 US Open. Most of the credit goes to her and her run to the final, but Iga Swiatek losing early as the defending champion helped her as well.
Becoming number one is only part of the equation for Sabalenka because she wants to finish the year as number one. That would be the major thing she's after, and there is a pretty solid chance for her to do so. She talked about it ahead of the 2023 China Open in Beijing.
I am still motivated to continue doing important things, no matter how hard it was for me to reach the top, I’m not going to relax or lose my desire. I want to finish this season as the best player in the world & stay in that position as long as possible. Every time I achieve a goal, I set new ones & this one is very exciting, so I want to give my best tennis here in Beijing..
This situation is new for me, it still seems crazy to be there. I know that, right now, I represent all of women's tennis & that generates a great responsibility, but nothing in me has changed.
She'll face some competition for sure because Iga Swiatek is eyeing a return to number one, she even talked about it. We'll see whether that happens but there are a few events coming which could swing the battle for number one either way.
Right now it's Sabalenka's to lose and she's not going to lose easily. Swiatek will have to fight for it and we as fans will love to see it.