US Open

Aryna Sabalenka to replace Iga Swiatek as new women’s singles No. 1 after US Open

Rizu ShuklaRizu Shukla

September 4 2023
Aryna Sabalenka
(Courtesy : WTA)

The Polish star lost to Ostapenko in the pre-quarterfinals

Belarussia’s Aryna Sabalenka is set to replace Poland’s Iga Swiatek as the World No.1 in the WTA singles rankings next week. The reigning champion exited the tournament after a shock defeat to 20th seed Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round of US Open 2023.

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko eliminated Swiatek in the round of 16 just before the clock struck midnight (September 3rd) on Sunday evening in New York. Swiatek defeated Ostapenko in the first set, but the unpredictable Latvian battled hard to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 and secure her fourth triumph over the Polish star in as many meetings.

The unpredictable Ostapenko, who had never made it past the final 16 at the Flushing Meadows prior to this week, will now face US Open contender and local favourite Coco Gauff for a place in the semifinals.

The 25-year-old, who also rose to the top of the doubles rankings in February 2021, will become the 29th woman to get to the WTA World No. 1 ranking and just the eighth person to hold the No. 1 positions in both singles and doubles. 

Sabalenka has had a great year on the Hologic WTA Tour, winning three championships, most recently at the Mutua Madrid Open – WTA 1000, in addition to the WTA 500 Adelaide International and her first Grand Slam singles victory at the Australian Open. She also reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and Roland-Garros, as well as the finals of the WTA 1000 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the WTA 500 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Sabalenka was previously one victory away from accomplishing the record herself at Wimbledon, until she was defeated by Ons Jabeur in a heartbreaking three-set semifinal encounter. She had also been in striking distance at Roland Garros where Karolina Muchova beat her in the final four, despite having a 5-2 lead and match point. The Belarussian will next face Daria Kasatkina in the pre-quarterfinals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

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