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WTA Power Rankings: Seeing Consistency at Sunshine Double

by Tennis Canada

March 7, 2024

So far, there have been three big tournaments on the WTA calendar in 2024 and each one produced a different champion.

Two were expected, one was a big shock. And through those two WTA 1000 events and the Grand Slam, only one woman reached at least the semifinals at two of them.

With that in mind, the Power Rankings try to size up the field in Indian Wells and Miami.

(Brackets indicate change in position since the last edition of the Power Rankings from before the Australian Open)

1. Iga Swiatek (-)

  • Actual Ranking: 1
  • 2024 Record: 14-2
  • Notable Recent Results: Doha Champion, Dubai SF
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells and Miami Champion (2022)

While the Australian Open was a surprising disappointment for the world No. 1, Iga Swiatek bounced back well in the first two WTA 1000 events of the year, winning in Doha and then reaching the semifinals in Dubai, where she surprisingly lost to Anna Kalinskaya.

Swiatek is the most recent player on either tour to successfully sweep the Sunshine Double, which she did as part of her epic winning streak in 2022, and she reached the Indian Wells semis last year. These hard courts are well-suited to her game.

- Pete

2. Aryna Sabalenka (+1)

  • Actual Ranking: 2
  • 2024 Record: 11-2
  • Notable Recent Results: Australian Open Champion
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells Runner-Up (2023)

Aryna Sabalenka comes in at No. 2 on the Power Rankings but many on the panel threw her a first-place vote and it’s easy to understand why. She defended her Aussie Open title in January, her second major, and has been the most consistent player the past two years at the Slams, making the semifinals or better at the past six such events.

She lost in the finals of Indian Wells a year ago to Elena Rybakina but has every reason to believe she can go one further this time.

- Mike

3. Elena Rybakina (-1)

  • Actual Ranking: 4
  • 2024 Record: 17-3
  • Notable Recent Results: Abu Dhabi Champion, Doha Runner-Up
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells Champion (2023)

Elena Rybakina returns to Indian Wells as the defending champion and the third seed. Despite an early-round exit at the Australian Open, she has rebounded nicely with a title in Abu Dhabi against Daria Kasatkina and a finals appearance in Doha losing to Swiatek.

Read also: ATP Power Rankings - Sinner Looks to Stay Hot in Indian Wells

She also captured a title in her first event of the year in Brisbane where she thrashed Sabalenka 6-0, 6-3 in the finals. Rybakina has big points to defend here but is very much a favourite to do just that.

- Mike

4. Coco Gauff (-)

  • Actual Ranking: 3
  • 2024 Record: 12-3
  • Notable Recent Results: Australian Open SF, Dubai QF
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells QF (2023)

Coco Gauff got off to a strong start in January with a title in Auckland and a semifinal appearance at the Australian Open. But she tailed off a bit in February with an early loss in Doha and then was another one of Kalinskaya’s victims in Dubai.

Indian Wells will be a homecoming for Gauff, her first event on home soil since claiming her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last September. She will hope that a return to the United States will help her refind the form that saw the youngster reach the semifinals or better at seven of eight events between August and January.

- Pete

5. Qinwen Zheng (+4)

  • Actual Ranking: 8
  • 2024 Record: 11-4
  • Notable Recent Results: Australian Open Runner-Up, Dubai QF
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Miami R4 (2023)

Qinwen Zheng is firing on all cylinders right now.

The winner of the WTA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2023 has gotten the season off to a solid start. She made it to the final two in Melbourne and recently lost to Iga Swiatek in the quarters of this year’s first WTA 1000 event in Dubai.

Back in Indian Wells for the first time since 2022, she’ll be wanting to do a whole lot better than her second-round loss to Angelique Kerber.

- Sarah-Jade

6. Jelena Ostapenko (New)

  • Actual Ranking: 10
  • 2024 Record: 16-4
  • Notable Recent Results: Linz Champion
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Miami Runner-Up (2018)

Never one to shy away from controversy, Jelena Ostapenko has been playing some great tennis as of late.

She touches down in the California desert with two new titles and a 16–4 record (one loss to Anna Kalinskaya and three at the hands of nemesis Victoria Azarenka). She’s ready to storm out of the blocks, but how will she fare at her seventh go in Indian Wells? Her best performance came in 2021, when she was ousted from the semis by...Azarenka. 

Let’s hope they don’t cross paths again this week.

- Sarah-Jade

7. Jessica Pegula (-2)

  • Actual Ranking: 5
  • 2024 Record: 4-2
  • Notable Recent Results: San Diego SF
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Miami SF (Twice)

Sometimes a new voice or two in the room can make a world of difference.

Read also: How the Rest of 2023 Went for Jessica Pegula

That’s what American Jessica Pegula is banking on as she hopes to kickstart her 2024 campaign in the first event of the Sunshine Double from Indian Wells. Pegula surprised the tennis world by parting ways with her long-time friend and coach David Witt (who has since been picked up by Maria Sakkari) and has since added former doubles great Mark Knowles and ex-player Mark Merklein to her team.

The move already looks to have paid early dividends as Pegula played strong tennis last week in San Diego, reaching the semifinals.

The American, now 30 years old, is one of the cleanest ball strikers on tour and will have the backing of the crowd in California to make a run at Indian Wells.

- Ben

8. Jasmine Paolini (New)

  • Actual Ranking: 14
  • 2024 Record: 9-5
  • Notable Recent Results: Dubai Champion
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells R3 (Twice)

Jasmine Paolini got 2024 off to an impressive start! She just picked up her second pro title—and not just any title since she won the WTA 1000 in Dubai with inspired wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia, Leylah Fernandez, Maria Sakkari and Elena Rybakina.

As the World No. 14, her highest career ranking, she’ll be striking fear in her opponents in Indian Wells. 

- Abraham

9. Leylah Annie Fernandez (New)

  • Actual Ranking: 34
  • 2024 Record: 6-4
  • Notable Recent Results: Doha QF
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells R4 (Twice)

It’s hard not to get excited for Leylah Fernandez.

Her passion and exuberance on the court are exhilarating and the way she manages to feed of the crowd brings a sense of joy and excitement. It feels lately that she is again playing some of her best tennis.

The 2021 US Open finalist had a series of great wins in Doha in February over Liudmila Samsonova, Paula Badosa, and Qinwen Zheng, reaching the quarter-finals of a WTA1000 for just the second time in her career.

She also looks more poised and decisive on court, committing to her crafty net game, and timing the ball better than ever. Don’t be surprised if a run is in store in the California desert.

- Ben

10. Daria Kasatkina (New)

  • Actual Ranking: 12
  • 2024 Record: 9-6
  • Notable Recent Results: Abu Dhabi Runner-Up
  • Best Sunshine Double Results: Indian Wells Runner-Up (2018)

Daria Kasatkina, who’s got six WTA winner’s titles in her trophy case, has already competed in two finals this season. Most recently, she was toppled by Elena Rybakina in the ultimate showdown in Abu Dhabi.

Daria could definitely cause a surprise in Indian Wells. Remember the 2022 Granby National Bank Championships!

The National Bank Open Power Rankings are a group collaboration by the Power Rankings Panel which includes:

The WTA's best return to Toronto this summer for the National Bank Open August 4 to 12, 2024 at Sobeys Stadium. 2024 Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!

Feature Photo : Jimmy48/WTA