WTA Race Update: Sabalenka Dominates But Rybakina Bridges Gap After Abu Dhabi Win

WTA Race Update: Sabalenka Dominates But Rybakina Bridges Gap After Abu Dhabi Win

by Nurein Ahmed

Aryna Sabalenka ticked off another week on top of the WTA Race while barely lifting a racket since winning the Australian Open.

The Belarusian star garnered the full 2,000 points on offer in Melbourne and took control of the race after defending her title. Prior to the Australian Open, she was a runner-up in Brisbane, where she received 325 points.

In second spot is the Melbourne runner-up, Qinwen Zheng. Like Sabalenka, the Chinese star has not played a tour-level tournament after departing Australia. However, Zheng will return to action in Doha, where Sabalenka confirmed her absence. The 21-year-old can rise to the top if she wins the Qatar Open.

Elena Rybakina has bridged the gap to the top three, rising to fourth spot. The Kazakh became the second player this season to win two titles. She toppled Daria Kasatkina in the Abu Dhabi final on Sunday. It is impossible for Rybakina to go further than fourth this week.

However, she could drop down to fifth, especially with Coco Gauff watching her closely. The young American will play her first tournament since Melbourne at the star-studded Qatar Open. Kasatkina jumped five spots into the Top 10 (currently 7th) despite losing her second final of 2024.

Swiatek lost two spots in the race and dropped down to ninth. Her Australian Open conqueror, Linda Noskova, is ahead of her by 20 points. But a lot is expected to change by the end of the week, especially with the Pole putting on her match kit for Doha.

Some of the surprising names in the Top 20 include Anna Kalinskaya (11th), Emma Navarro (14th), and Mirra Andreeva (20th). The race serves as a barometer of consistency among the players as it factors only points accumulated during the season.

The WTA Race will also determine the eight women who will qualify for the 2024 WTA Finals. The tournament still hasn't found a permanent home. Saudi Arabia is reportedly a strong contender to host the WTA's year-end flagship tournament.

2024 WTA Race as of February 12, 2024:

Rank Player Points
1 Aryna Sabalenka 2325
2 Qinwen Zheng 1375
3 Jelena Ostapenko 1238
4 Elena Rybakina 1178
5 Coco Gauff 1030
6 Dayana Yastremska 905
7 Daria Kasatkina 828
8 Linda Noskova 650
9 Iga Swiatek 630
10 Marta Kostyuk 570
11 Anna Kalinskaya 547
12 Barbora Krejcikova 539
13 Ekaterina Alexandrova 531
14 Emma Navarro 478
15 Victoria Azarenka 435
16 Elina Svitolina 403
17 Elise Mertens 401
18 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 399
19 Beatriz Haddad Maia 361
20 Mirra Andreeva 348
21 Karolina Pliskova 321
22 Jessica Pegula 300
23 Clara Burel 299
24 Oceane Dodin 296
25 Magdalena Frech 290
26 Lin Zhu 287
27 Maria Timofeeva 286
28 Jasmine Paolini 277
29 Amanda Anisimova 270
30 Diana Shnaider 262
31 Storm Hunter 251
32 Ana Bogdan 247
33 Katie Boulter 245
34 Donna Vekic 245
35 Yafan Wang 244
36 Cristina Bucsa 236
37 Clara Tauson 234
38 Caroline Garcia 226
39 Anastasia Potapova 226
40 Darja Semenistaja 222
41 Harriet Dart 219
42 Katerina Siniakova 216
43 Diane Parry 209
44 Liudmila Samsonova 207
45 Nuria Parrizas Diaz 203
46 Arantxa Rus 193
47 Katie Volynets 192
48 Elina Avanesyan 191
49 Danielle Collins 188
50 Anastasia Zakharova 187


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