Swiatek Extends Lead Over Sabalenka Thanks To New Rule In Latest WTA Rankings

Swiatek Extends Lead Over Sabalenka Thanks To New Rule In Latest WTA Rankings

by Nurein Ahmed

Iga Swiatek's second stint as World No. 1 shows no signs of ending anytime soon as the Pole built a cushion over her closest challenger, Aryna Sabalenka.

After last year's US Open, Swiatek had relinquished the World No. 1 ranking to Sabalenka. But the Belarusian's reign lasted for just eight weeks before the 22-year-old Warsaw native bounced back spectacularly with title wins in Beijing and Cancun.

The victory over Sabalenka at the WTA Finals semifinal proved critical for Swiatek because she would demolish Jessica Pegula in the final to reclaim the No. 1 ranking. Swiatek pipped Sabalenka to the top by just 245 points in the year-end rankings.

But at the turn of the year, Swiatek added 210 points this week thanks to a new WTA rule of points allocation. Previously, a WTA player's ranking was determined by the results in a maximum of 16 tournaments and the WTA Finals if they qualified.

But that figure has since been raised to 18, meaning that Swiatek was awarded additional points from Bad Homburg and Tokyo from last season. The gap between the Pole and the Belarusian has now grown to 455 points.

Coco Gauff, currently sitting at a career-high ranking of World No. 3, has also benefitted from this new rule, adding 110 points to her tally. Less than 1,000 points separate Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, and Jessica Pegula; the trio are all in action this week and occupy the top five positions.

Maria Sakkari moves up a spot into eighth place ahead of the injured Karolina Muchova. The Czech has pulled out from the entire Australian swing due to a wrist injury and is the likeliest to exit the Top 10 at the end of January.

Petra Kvitova recently announced the news about her pregnancy and is unlikely to play again this season. Currently ranked 17th, the Czech veteran faces an imminent ranking slide in the next few months. You can visit our dedicated rankings page to track all the movements.


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