Iga Swiatek won her fourth title in succession at the Stuttgart Open last week and the latest WTA rankings show that she now has more ranking points than Ashleigh Barty had when she retired.
Swiatek’s incredible form of late has seen her win 23 consecutive matches –– tieing Naomi Osaka’s streak from 2020-21.
Swiatek assumed the number one ranking from Barty last month, after the Australian’s shock revelation that she was stepping away from the game.
At the time of her retirement, Barty was more than 2000 ranking points ahead of Swiatek, having won her third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year.
But remarkably, the latest WTA rankings show that Swiatek may actually have overtaken Barty, even if she hadn’t announced her retirement.
The rankings explained
On March 28th –– the last time the rankings updated prior to Barty being removed –– the Australian had 7980 points.
Meanwhile, as of Monday, April 25th, Swiatek has 7181 points.
Had Barty remained in the rankings, she would’ve lost 1000 points from failing to try and defend her Miami Open title from 2021 and would actually have been on less than 7000 points, heading into April.
Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily prove once and for all that Swiatek would definitely have overtaken Barty. The Australian may well have chosen to play at the Stuttgart Open and given her unbeaten start to 2022 –– there is every chance she may have won the competition.
Yes, I believe Swiatek would have passed Barty this week. https://t.co/JZIcEzdrOM— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) April 24, 2022
But nonetheless, these statistics show just how impressive Swiatek has been recently and emphasise that she is a more than deserving world number one.
Similarly to Barty earlier this year, the Polish star is now more than 2000 ranking points ahead of her nearest competitor in Paula Badosa.
Indeed, the Spaniard has just over 5000 points, having reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart last week.
Badosa is just two points ahead of Barbora Krejcikvova, however, who will defend her Roland-Garros title next month.
Is Swiatek the favourite for the French Open?
Evidently, considering her run of form, you’d be a fool to look past Swiatek as the favourite for the French Open this year. Not only is she the world number one but clay is also her favourite surface and she is already a former winner at Roland-Garros.
That being said, Badosa and Krejcikova also favour playing on clay and could provide stern opposition.
Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who is ranked fifth in the world, may prove to be another threat. The 26-year-old beat Swiatek in the quarter-finals at the French Open last year and also reached the semi-finals of the US Open.
Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu will be competing in her first clay-court major but performed admirably in Stuttgart last week. The teenager reached the quarter-finals, before losing to Swiatek in straight sets.