Swiatek Locked In Close Battle At ´ Top Of Olympics Race Ahead Of Indian Wells

Swiatek Locked In Close Battle At ´ Top Of Olympics Race Ahead Of Indian Wells

by Nurein Ahmed

Iga Swiatek has taken control of the Olympics Race to Paris but is facing a massive challenge to remain there as Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka look to prey on the Pole's mishap.

The WTA stars are in Indian Wells this week, battling for the third WTA 1000 tournament of the season. With 1000 ranking points on offer, the Olympics Race could have a new leader by the end of the fortnight.

Swiatek leads the race after capturing her first title of the season in Doha last month. She became the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to three-peat in a WTA tournament. The 22-year-old fell short of completing a clean sweep in the Middle East by losing in the Dubai semifinal.

With 6,390 points, Swiatek has a slender advantage over Coco Gauff, who occupies second place. The American is set to turn 20 next week and is only 300 points off the top. Sabalenka, meanwhile, is chasing her first match win since winning the Australian Open in January.

The World No. 2 will be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games as a neutral athlete after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted the ban imposed on Russians and Belarusians. Jessica Pegula sits in fourth despite missing a month of competition due to a neck injury.

The 30-year-old edges Elena Rybakina by 237 points. Marketa Vondrousova is the Czech Republic's No. 1 player and is the defending silver medalist. She sits in sixth spot ahead of the already-qualified Qinwen Zheng, who won the Asian Games last year to earn direct entry to Paris.

Ons Jabeur, Jelena Ostapenko and Maria Sakkari complete the Top 10. Players in the Top 56 will qualify for the Paris Olympics tennis tournament, played at Stade Roland Garros.

Players in this bracket sitting side by side in the race are separated by very few points (less than 1000), so the next few months could determine the fate of many of them.


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