June 21, 2024
Coco Gauff

Tennis is all about the numbers, and those numbers are making for an interesting battle for the World No. 2 ranking based on how players perform at the Mutua Madrid Open. Ranking points are earned or lost based on a player’s performance compared to the previous year.

This explains how consistent players can maintain their rankings year-over-year because they can successfully defend the points earned and do not give up ground to their peers. However, there could be a changing of the guard at World No. 2 based on how events transpire in Madrid. The contenders for the ranking are current World No. 2 Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka, American Coco Gauff, and Kazakhstani Elena Rybakina.

Sabalenka is the defending champion in Madrid which means that an earlier exit this year puts her ranking in jeopardy. Coco Gauff, despite losing in the Round of 16 to Madison Keys, lost in the third round in Madrid last year so she will still be on the positive side of the points calculation. Elena Rybakina is in the quarterfinals in Madrid this year with no points to defend because she was ousted in the opening round in 2023 will be in contention also.

Why is World No. 2 important?
There are several reasons why being World No. 2 is significant. Most players make it a career goal to become World No. 1 so being World No. 2 is a stepping stone on the way to that achievement. On the practical side, particularly in WTA 500, 1000, and Grand Slams tournaments, World No. 2 guarantees the player to be the top seed in her half of the draw.

World No. 3 never gets that assurance because she is either in the same side of the draw as World No. 1 or World No. 2. While that does not guarantee that World No. 2 wins the tournament, it could provide a slightly easier path to the later rounds with less challenging opponents early and lower ranked players later.

Sabalenka has been either World No. 2 or World No. 1 (briefly last fall) since 2021. Rybakina and Gauff have never risen to this level. Some would argue that Rybakina would have if her Wimbledon 2022 championship earned points, but the tournament did not award points that year because of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

It is a tight race that will be interesting to watch and see if there is a changing of the guard at World No. 2 and if so, for how long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com