Why Swiatek Is Guaranteed To Remain World No. 1 Regardless Of Australian Open Result

Iga Swiatek will firmly walk into the 2024 Australian Open as the undisputed WTA No. 1, a position she is assured to keep even after the conclusion of the tournament.

Swiatek is the clear-cut favorite to win the women’s tournament at Melbourne Park, having forged a 16-match winning streak dating back to last year’s China Open. She won all five of her singles matches at the United Cup, where Poland fell agonizingly short of the title.

But that disappointment is unlikely to weigh heavily on her mind. Swiatek’s mentality has improved a lot in the past year. Her focus is on winning the Australian Open despite downplaying her chances.

The draw for the tournament has been released, with Swiatek slated to play former champion Sofia Kenin in a marquee first-round match. The Pole has a tough draw and could play her previous year’s conqueror, Elena Rybakina, in the semifinals.

Swiatek need not worry about the No. 1 ranking, which was an added burden when she played at the majors last season. Thanks to a WTA rule that factored in additional points from two tournaments last season, Swiatek was able to increase her lead over second-place Aryna Sabalenka.

The Pole garnered the full 500 points at the United Cup, where she was undefeated in singles competition. She currently has 9,880 points. Sablaenka, meanwhile, has 8,905 points after failing to win a warm-up tournament coming to Melbourne.

The Belarusian will drop 1,990 points (rather than 2,000 points because of an earlier start date to the 2024 Australian Open) due to winning a maiden Grand Slam last January. Her tally will, therefore, stand at 6,915 at the start of the event.

Swiatek only drops 230 points after losing in the fourth round last year. With 9,650 points in her locker, Swiatek will have an enormous lead of 2,735 points. Because Sabalenka can’t gain more than 2,000 ranking points, it means Swiatek won’t even need to win the tournament to remain No. 1.

Instead, Sabalenka might face stiff competition to retain her No. 2 ranking from the in-form Rybakina, Coco Gauff, and Jessica Pegula, who could realistically overtake her.

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