Aryna Sabalenka Replaces Serena Williams Following Her Fight Back Against Tsvetana Pironkova at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/26/2021, 8:20 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. during her semi final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Belarusian tennis ace Aryna Sabalenka is set to reach a career-high ranking just after her second-round victory at Miami Open 2021. More importantly, she was ranked below Serena Williams before the start of the Miami Open, but now she will go above the American and could go further above as well.


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With the WTA reverting back to the old ranking system, several top 10 players might lose points at Miami Open 2021. But Sabalenka was ousted in the second round back in 2019, so she can earn a lot of points.

Sabalenka defeated Tsvetana Pironkova in her opening match at Miami Open 2021 to advance to the third round.


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Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus hits a forehand. Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of the Miami Open, Sabalenka was ranked 8th with 4815 points. Above her was Serena Williams, with about 100 points more.

But with Serena not playing at Miami Open 2021, she will lose 65 points. Furthermore, Sabalenka has already earned 120 points, bettering her 65 points earned from 2019.

So with all the above calculations, Sabalenka jumps ahead of Serena. Unfortunately for Serena’s fans, her points will decrease to 4850, which will give Sabalenka a 20 point lead over her.

The Belarusian could earn more and jump forward if she wins more matches.

How high could Aryna Sabalenka go in the WTA rankings after Miami Open 2021?

If results go differently with other players, Sabalenka can jump inside the top five as well. She can catch World No.4 Sofia Kenin if the American doesn’t win her second-round match.

Sofia Kenin has 5760 points and is not losing a whole load of points at Miami Open this year. Similarly, below Kenin is Elina Svitolina, who is also a bit far from Sabalenka and even she is not losing a lot of points at Miami Open.

But Sabalenka will be confident of sealing the World No.6 spot. Currently, Karolina Pliskova currently holds that spot.

However, the Czech player is defending a mammoth 650 points, and given her form, it is doubtful whether she will be able to save that. Thus, Sabalenka could make a double jump and finish 6th.

Why is Serena Williams not playing Miami Open 2021?


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Serena Williams of the U.S. during her semi-final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

For Serena, the ranking update is not good news. She is an eight-time winner at Miami and would have fancied another one this year. But because of her oral surgery, she had to withdraw from the event.

Serena again drifts a bit further away from the top five, a place she hasn’t returned to since 2017.


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Bhavishya Mittal

966 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.