Iga Swiatek vs Aryna Sabalenka. The fight for the WTA throne will experience a new and interesting chapter during the season on the North American hard-courts, which will come alive with the WTA 1000 tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati, before the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year.
The verdicts that will mature at the Omnium Banque Nationale will be fundamental. The Polish and Belarusian both stopped in the round of 16 in 2022 losing to Beatriz Haddad Maia and Coco Gauff respectively. Sabalenka has only one chance to conquer the top of the world ranking and she is strongly linked to the performance of her direct rival.
Aryna Sabalenka can dethrone Iga Swiatek: the scenarios
If Swiatek doesn't improve on last year's result, Sabalenka would leave Montreal as number one only in the event of a triumph. The Belarusian will therefore have to win the tournament and hope that Swiatek does not reach the quarterfinals.
The tennis player from Warsaw won't face much pressure in Cincinnati, where she was eliminated in the round of 16. Sabalenka, for her part, has reached the semifinals and the points to defend will have a resounding impact.
Everything would then move to the US Open; a Major that Swiatek won by overcoming Sabalenka in the semifinal. The Belarusian wasted her big chance at Wimbledon. One pass from the final and from first place in the standings, Sabalenka suffered an unexpected comeback: she was ahead by a set and a break against Ons Jabeur.
Questioned at the press conference at the end of the dispute with the Tunisian, Sabalenka explained: "I wouldn't say I was thinking about it. For me it's more a question of finishing the year as number one, rather than being number one or two during the year I will continue to push and do whatever it takes to finish the year as world No.
1." Swiatek was not particularly lucky at the WTA in Montreal and she could challenge Karolina Pliskova and Karolina Muchova between the second and third rounds. Sabalenka, at least on paper, should have a less complicated start. The possible first opponents are Petra Martic and Liudmila Samsonova.