Currently, Iga Swiatek occupies this spot and it has already been 59 weeks since she first became the top-ranked player on the WTA circuit. In five weeks, she can match even Simona Halep, who is currently away from tennis, but this does not necessarily have to happen.
Sabalenka has never been world No. 1 in her career, but now she is very close to that spot. Not long ago, Swiatek stated that she is not worried about challenging Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina because it improves her as a player. She could still be worried about the Belarusian, because she threatens her place at the top of the ranking.
At the moment, Sabalenka leads the WTA Race 2023 rankings by quite a large margin. The 2023 Australian Open champion has already collected 4,840 points this season, with Iga Swiatek having only 3,145 points in third place.
Although the Pole now leads the WTA rankings with 1,399 points, she has 2,000 points to defend at Roland Garros as the defending champion, while Sabalenka collected just 130 points at the Grand Slam tournament last year.
This means that, before the big tournament on clay, the Belarusian has an advantage of almost 500 points over the current world number 1. Consequently, due to the unique nature of the points distribution, Swiatek can lose the world No. 1 even if he reaches the quarterfinals, and Sabalenka loses in the first round.
There are many scenarios that can play out, but the only sure way for the Pole to keep her world number 1 is to keep her Roland Garros crown. She will have a difficult mission in this regard after the last setback caused by an injury that stopped her in Rome.
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