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Sabalenka’s No.1 spot is confirmed but her maiden US Open title may not be. Here’s why

Aryna Sabalenka is the future world number one. Sabalenka’s top spot was confirmed after current world number one Iga Swiatek crashed out of the US Open this Sunday. Sabalenka was in seventh heaven with the prospect of attaining the world number one spot in the rankings. She will claim the top slot after the US Open.

Belarus’s Aryna Sabalenka celebrates her win against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina during the US Open tennis tournament(AFP)

“Reaching the WTA world number one singles ranking is something I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a little girl when I started playing tennis. It’s an unbelievable feeling to join the amazing list of other WTA players to achieve this, and it’s a huge honour to be able to call myself the number one,” the 25-year-old was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.

Does this latest boost in rankings assure Aryna Sabalenka of her maiden US Open title? Well, the answer is a resounding no. With big names like Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula out of contention, the road ahead may look quite smooth for the Belarussian. But a deep dive into the women’s singles category will reveal the unpredictable nature of it.

Players Sabalenka should be wary of at US Open 2023

America’s Coco Gauff is the highest seed left in the top half of the women’s singles. The number six seed teenager will face Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter-finals. The fixture against Gauff will mark Ostapenko’s maiden quarterfinal appearance in the US Open. Ostapenko reached the quarter-finals getting the better of current world number one Iga Swiatek.

Gauff, on the other hand, qualified for the quarter-finals having defeated former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in a three-set thriller in the last round. Gauff has been in astounding form in recent times and entered the Flushing Meadows with a terrific record of 11-1 in the US summer hard-court swing. Moreover, Gauff claimed two prestigious titles ahead of this year’s US Open. Considering her current form, Gauff’s chances of conquering the US Open seem quite bright and the 19-year-old will certainly give a tough fight to Sabalenka.

The bottom half of the draw is no less thrilling. Ninth seed Marketa Vondrousova and America’s Madison Keys are two prominent figures vying for the US Open title in the bottom half of the women’s singles draw. But sadly, only one of these two highly talented players will reach the semi-final stage as Vondrousova and Keys are set to face each other in the quarter-finals. In the other quarterfinal, Aryna Sabalenka will face China’s Qinwen Zheng, who defeated 2022 finalist Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

Tennis fans may have already started discussing the possible women’s singles US Open champion but Sabalenka is unfazed by all such talks, for the Australian Open winner right now just wants to focus on her quarter-finals encounter. “She [Qinwen Zheng] played great tennis against Ons. I haven’t watched her previous matches. The trickiest part is that she’s moving well, playing some heavy shots. I have to be physically and mentally ready that it’s going to be some winners against me in that match. I just have to focus on myself more than on her, on my game. I know if I’ll bring my tennis there, I have a chance to win this match,” Sabalenka said.

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