World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka has been the best player on the women's tour this year, with an Australian Open title and a US Open runner-up finish to her name. This is reflected well in the fact that the Belarusian is among the first four players to qualify for this year's WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico.
Aryna Sabalenka has qualified for the year-end championship 3 times in her career and finished as the runner-up at the 2022 edition of the tournament. The Belarusian's current tally in the Race to WTA Finals stands at 8,210 points, thanks to a career-best season in 2023 where she won three titles.
As far as the Race rankings are considered, Aryna Sabalenka is comfortably above the next-best player in 2023 — Iga Swiatek. She has a total of 6,905 points, which she earned from her four title victories this year. The Pole also reigned supreme at the French Open for the second year on the trot.
Although the 22-year-old had an unceremonious end to her 2022 US Open title defense, her fourth-round finish at the Major tournament was enough to ensure she qualified for the 2023 WTA Finals.
Coco Gauff, meanwhile, comes in third on the list of players who have qualified for the year-end tournament. The American has also won four titles in 2023, which includes a maiden Major title in New York a few weeks ago. She currently has a tally of 5,620 points in the Race rankings.
Elena Rybakina rounds out the list of women who have already qualified for the 2023 WTA Finals. The Kazakh backed her 2022 Wimbledon run well this season, reaching the final in Melbourne and winning her first two WTA 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Rome. She is just below Gauff in the Race to WTA Finals rankings, having accumulated 5,476 points thus far.
The likes of Jessica Pegula, Marketa Vondrousova, Karolina Muchova, and Ons Jabeur are next in line to qualify for the year-end tournament. The WTA caravan will be traveling to Asia next week for the final 1000-level tournament of the year in Beijing.
The event will likely be a great avenue for these women to solidify their position in the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico.
Aryna Sabalenka lost at the final hurdle of the WTA Finals last year
In 2022, Aryna Sabalenka was still far away from being the player she has become this year. The Belarusian failed to win a single title during the season, arriving at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas in less-than-ideal form.
That, however, didn't deter her from winning her first two matches against Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula in hard-fought fashion. Even though she lost to Maria Sakkari in straight sets in the next match, the 5'11" Belarusian had enough in her tank to outlast then-World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the semifinals in three sets.
Sabalenka then suffered a championship-match defeat to France's Caroline Garcia, who was playing in her first WTA Finals since 2017. The Belarusian's loss in the final, however, soon turned out to be a precursor for a break-out season in 2023.