Elena Rybakina became only the third WTA player to qualify for the 2023 WTA Finals, joining the world’s top two players, Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek, who are both in the elite eight. After being runner-up in her second Grand Slam final at this year’s Australian Open, Rybakina will be the first Kazakhstani to compete in the season-ending championships. She surpassed the 5,420 cut-off points to move into third position in the WTA Race.
The 26-year-old went on to win three more WTA 1000 finals, including Indian Wells and Rome, becoming the first Kazakhstani player to do so. Despite losing her championship defense at Wimbledon, Rybakina made up for lost ground throughout the hard-court season in North America. Rybakina reached the semifinals of the Canadian Open for the first time despite a rigorous schedule, and she reached the third round of the US Open before losing to Sorana Cirstea. Nonetheless, she has significantly improved her game and her rating.
Rybakina has established an astounding 42-14 record this season, translating to a 75% winning percentage, a personal best surpassing her stats from 2022, with at least two more months of playing time remaining. She came very near to qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first-time last year but fell short in the final week of the regular season, losing to Jessica Pegula in the second round in Guadalajara after squandering three match points.
But she’s secured her seat this time, as other rivals Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek have already done. Five more slots are up for grabs, with eighth-placed Ons Jabeur trailing 13th-placed Daria Kasatkina by less than 1,000 points.
As of now, Swiatek, Sabalenka, and Rybakina, who have qualified for the 2023 WTA Finals, can bookmark October 29 to November 5 in their calendars as those are the dates for the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico. WTA CEO and Chairman, Steve Simon was overjoyed to reveal Cancun as the final tournament location, but many players will be disappointed because the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals are held in Seville, on the other side of the world, only two days after the event concludes.
I would like to extend my appreciation to the Cancun tournament organizers GS Sports Management for their commitment in hosting the WTA Finals this year. This edition of the WTA Finals will provide a fantastic experience for players and fans alike, offer a fitting finale for the 2023 Hologic WTA Tour, and enable us to continue building a strong future for women’s tennis, Simon said.