The year-end No 1 ranking will go down to the wire as it will be decided at the WTA Finals following Iga Swiatek’s title run at the China Open.
Reigning world No 1 Aryna Sabalenka had the chance to wrap up the season-ending No 1 spot in the WTA Rankings in Beijing as she started the tournament 1,305 points ahead of her rival and all she had to do was better Swiatek’s result.
However, Sabalenka lost in the quarter-final and Swiatek went all the way at the WTA 1000 event – winning her fifth title of the 2023 season – to reduce the deficit to 590 points with just WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico, left on both players’ 2023 calendar.
A player who wins the season-ending event undefeated will walk away with 1,500 ranking points so there will be plenty on the spell in North America from October 30 to November 5.
Swiatek had spent 75 consecutive weeks at No 1 in the rankings before Sabalenka replaced her after the US Open to become the 29th WTA No 1 in history.
Away from the battle for top spot, US Open champion Coco Gauff consolidated her third place with a run to the semi-final in Beijing and she now has a 500-point lead over fellow American Jessica Pegula with Elena Rybakina completing the top five.
In fact, the top 10 is unchanged with Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Marketa Vondrosouva, Karolina Muchova and Caroline Garcia occupying positions six to 10.
The results in Beijing means that the WTA Finals line-up was also complete with Jabeur, Vondrosouva and Muchova the final three players to secure their tickets to Mexico.
There was some movement outside the top 10 with former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko moving up four places to No 13 after reaching the quarter-final in Beijing and Liudmila Samsonova jumped six spots after she finished runner-up to Swiatek in Sunday’s final.
Further down the list, teenager Mirra Andreeva makes her top 50 debut – moving up 10 spots to No 50 – after she reached the last 16 at the China Open and Great Britain’s Katie Boulter climbed four places to No 52.
WTA Rankings Top 20
1. Aryna Sabalenka – 9,480 points
2. Iga Swiatek Poland 8,890
3. Coco Gauff United States 6,455
4. Jessica Pegula United States 5,955
5. Elena Rybakina Kazakhstan 5,870
6. Maria Sakkari Greece 4,475
7. Ons Jabeur Tunisia 4,150
8. Marketa Vondrousova Czech Republic 3,839
9. Karolina Muchova Czech Republic 3,664
10. Caroline Garcia France 3,450
11. Madison Keys United States 2,940
12. Daria Kasatkina – 2,830
13. Jelena Ostapenko Latvia 2,665
14. Petra Kvitova Czech Republic 2,660
15. Belinda Bencic Switzerland 2,605
16. Liudmila Samsonova – 2,595
17. Veronika Kudermetova – 2,250
18. Barbora Krejcikova Czech Republic 2,480
19. Victoria Azarenka – 2,225
20. Beatriz Haddad Maia Brazil 2,210