Battles for No. 1 rankings raging at U.S. Open

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five….

No, an incredible  eight women have an opportunity to leave New York City with the No. 1 world ranking at the end of the U.S. Open. That list includes Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Venus Williams. All eight. All crazy eight. Yes, that’s just how close–and how crowded–the race is.

Pliskova is currently No. 1 for the first time in her career, but he standing atop the chart is tenuous at best–only five points clear of Halep. The Czech also has 2016 U.S. Open runner-up points to defend.

Halep is the only one of the eight who can lose in the first round and still finish the tournament No. 1. And lose in the first round she might. The Romanian has a blockbuster opener on her hands in the form of Maria Sharapova. Such was the cruelty of Friday’s draw ceremony, which saw Sharapova go into the field unseeded and up in the air.

Wozniacki, Konta, Kuznetsova, and Williams must capture the U.S. Open title–and get help–in order to have a shot at snagging the top spot. Muguruza must reach at least the fourth round, Svitolina the semis, and Pliskova the final.

On the men’s side, the picture is much clearer. Rafael Nadal holds the No. 1 ranking right now, and with Andy Murray out only Roger Federer has a chance of stealing it at the conclusion of this year’s fourth and final major.

Murray would have had a shot, but he withdrew on Saturday due to the hip injury that has plagued him since Wimbledon. The Scot would have regained the top spot with a title, with a runner-up finish plus losses by Nadal prior to the semifinals and Federer at any point, or with a semifinal performance plus losses by Nadal prior to the third round and Federer prior to the semis.

Federer can become No. 1 again by advancing to the final, by making it to the semis if Nadal does not do the same, or by reaching the quarters if Nadal loses in the opening round. Nadal will remain No. 1 by reaching the final, by appearing in the semis as long as he loses at that point to someone other than Federer, by winning just one match if Federer does not reach the semis, or no matter what as long as Federer does not advance to the quarters.

Got that? Okay, good!

3 Comments on Battles for No. 1 rankings raging at U.S. Open

  1. Pliskova loses second round Wimbledon. Becomes number one. Halep loses first round US Open. Becomes number one. #wta

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