How Aryna Sabalenka can now avoid losing No. 2 spot to Coco Gauff in Madrid?

Gauff may be out of Madrid but she still could potentially replace Sabalenka at the No. 2 spot on Monday.

by Dzevad Mesic
How Aryna Sabalenka can now avoid losing No. 2 spot to Coco Gauff in Madrid?
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Aryna Sabalenka still has very realistic chances of retaining her world No. 2 spot beyond the Madrid Open as the Belarusian tennis star can now ensure staying at the second spot by reaching the final at Caja Magica. 

When Madrid started, defending champion Sabalenka entered with 1,000 points to defend while third-ranked Coco Gauff had just 45 points to defend. 

In a great position to reacht he world No. 2 spot for the first time in her career, Gauff reached the round-of-16 but then suffered a surprise defeat to Madison Keys. Still on live rankings, Gauff is the second and has 7,313 points while Sabalenka is the third with 7,063 points. Meanwhile, Elena Rybakina - who is also still in the tournament - is fourth with 6,498 points and also has a shot at the No. 2 spot.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

But today, Sabalenka plays against Mirra Andreeva in the Madrid quarterfinal. And if she wins, she will come closer to defending her Madrid title but also keeping the world No. 2 spot.

But if Sabalenka loses, Gauff will be the new world No. 2 on Monday.

Sabalenka survived the Danielle Collins clash, Gauff lost to Keys

On Monday, Sabalenka came back from a set down to beat Danielle Collins 4-6 6-4 6-3 and put herself three wins away from winning Madrid.

“It was a tough battle. She played unbelievable tennis. Thank you guys for staying and supporting us. That’s why I really love Madrid. You guys are unbelievable. You make this tournament special. Thank you so much for all the support and an incredible atmosphere," Sabalenka said after beating Collins.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

On the other side, Gauff appeared to be cruising toward a three-set win as she was 4-2 up in the third set before Keys stormed back to win 7-6 (4) 4-6 6-4.

"I definitely had to stay tough. Being able to just stay calm and trust myself, and get myself out of tough sets was really important. I was just trying to take the opportunities when they presented themselves," Keys said after defeating Gauff.

Aryna Sabalenka Coco Gauff