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The 4 WTA players who have the chance to become World No. 1 after Australian Open 2019

Nurein Ahmed
ANALYST
Feature
228   //    22 Jan 2019, 21:23 IST

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka

Following Petra Kvitova’s straight sets win over Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfinals, the permutations have been narrowed down and only four players (down from 11 prior to the 2019 Australian Open) have a realistic chance of clinching the World No. 1 ranking at the conclusion of the tournament. Incidentally, all four players are still in the women’s singles draw in Melbourne.

Kvitova overtook Simona Halep’s points total and moved to 5,770 ranking points following the Romanian’s defeat to Serena Williams in the fourth round. So who is in prime position to end Halep’s 48-week reign as the best women’s tennis player in the world?

Here is the projected points total each player would receive in the remaining rounds of action at the 2019 Australian Open. All four players in contention have not triumphed in Melbourne previously, and a title win by any of the players will be enough to seal top spot.

1. Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka, who is the highest seeded player of all the four women, led briefly until Kvitova won her quarterfinal match. Osaka will have the chance to restore her advantage if she wins her quarterfinal match.

The bragging rights at stake could not be any bigger since Osaka is set to play Elina Svitolina, another player still in contention. The Japanese needs to equal or better Kvitova’s performance to have a shot at the throne.

Osaka will finish No. 1 with a title win regardless of other outcomes

2. Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova will finish No. 1 with a title win regardless of other outcomes.

If Osaka beats Svitolina, then Kvitova will need to go one round better to stay ahead of the Japanese in the running.

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Kvitova would need to win the title if Karolina Pliskova or Svitolina reach the final. The Czech will play Danielle Collins of the United States in the semis.

3. Elina Svitolina

The Ukrainian will rise to No. 1 if she wins the title.

She plays Osaka in the quarterfinal, which means either player could have their hopes dashed with a defeat.

Svitolina must advance to the final to stay in contention for clinching the No. 1 ranking. However, if Kvitova makes the final, then Svitolina would need to win the title to climb to No. 1.

4. Karolina Pliskova

Pliskova, who shortly held the No. 1 ranking in 2017, would need to win the title to reclaim back the top spot. Any other outcome would end her pursuit.

She plays Serena Williams in the quarterfinal.

Australian Open Schedule, Results, News, Live updates and more at Sportskeeda

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