Aryna Sabalenka set to dethrone Iga Swiatek from No.1 spot, take a look at their rivalry

Sep 07, 2023 07:40 PM IST

Aryna Sabalenka will face America’s Madison Keys in the semi-finals of this year’s US Open.

Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka is all set to become the new world number one in the WTA rankings for the very first time next week. Her accession to the pinnacle is very much certain, irrespective of what happens at the US Open. Sabalenka’s top spot got confirmed after current world number one Iga Swiatek’s US Open title defense came to an end in the round of 16. Swiatek’s stay as the top-ranked women’s tennis player is set to be over but there seems to be no end to her stunning duel with Sabalenka.

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek have an epic rivalry.
Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek have an epic rivalry.

A rivalry to cherish forever

Sabalenka may be trailing Swiatek by a margin of 3-5 in terms of head-to-head meetings but the rivalry of the top-two tennis players has been absolutely enthralling in recent years. The duo had last faced each other earlier this year in May and Sabalenka emerged victorious in that contest 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to conquer the Madrid Open. Before this year’s Madrid Open summit clash, Sabalenka was down 2-5 in win-loss record against Swiatek, with four of those defeats appearing last year. Despite trailing the Pole, Sabalenka seemed quite unfazed with the numbers.

“She always pushes me to the limits. I’m really enjoying our battles. Hopefully we can play many more finals this season. I would say that this year’s matches are completely different matches than it was last year. I improved a lot, and I really want to win against her, because she’s such a great player. To have this win, especially on clay, that’s something unbelievable. I’m really happy that I’m able to fight against her and get these wins so it’s not super boring for people to watch our matches,” Sabalenka was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The Madrid Open encounter between Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek marked their second meeting of the year. Earlier, in their first clash of this year, Swiatek had the last laugh beating Sabalenka 6-3, 6-4 in the Stuttgart Open.

Reliving Grand Slams of 2023

Swiatek did not have a bright start to the year after she had to face an early exit at the Australian Open. Top seed Swiatek crashed out of the Australian Open having suffered a defeat to Elena Rybakina in the fourth round. Sabalenka, on the other hand, earned her maiden Grand Slam triumph having emerged victorious at the Australian Open in January.

Sabalenka had a golden chance to become the world number one at this year’s French Open. But her quest for the top spot suffered a massive blow after she was eliminated by unseeded Karolina Muchova in the semi-finals. Overcoming the Australian Open debacle, Swiatek came up with a stunning series of performances at the Roland Garros to win her third French Open title.

Wimbledon, however, proved to be a heart-breaking outing for the top-two ranked tennis players. Both Swiatek and Sabalenka had failed to reach the final stage of this year’s Wimbledon.


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