Iga Swiatek backed to reign supreme as rankings queen throughout 2023

Former World No 1 Martina Navratilova believes that nobody will get close to unseating Iga Swiatek as the top player on the WTA Tour in 2023.

Navratilova feels that Swiatek's consistency at WTA Tour events and her ability to win Grand Slams make her the clear favourite to hold the top spot through another year.

Swiatek ascended to the top ranking by default at the retirement of former World No 1 Ashleigh Barty.

However, with two Grand Slams and eight titles altogether on the WTA Tour, Swiatek proved herself worthy of her status.

She is virtually guaranteed to retain the ranking for a full 12 months in her first stint as the top player, although she does have two titles to defend across February and March.

Navratilova told the WTA: "I don't see anybody knocking her off - because she's so consistent. She wins majors - and she's consistent. Usually, it's one or the other.

"She's got them both going on at the same time. I think to see if she's making any changes, adding to her game again. This past year, she made more forays to the net, and it made a big difference."

Navratilova believes that Ons Jabeur could be one woman capable of stepping up and perhaps snatching a title or two from the grasp of the Pole.

"She reached the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open. With so many people looking up to her, this takes a lot of effort to handle that pressure," she said.

"She has good energy and the variety to frustrate her opponents. But now she needs to take that next step and come up big during the most pressure moments. If she can do that, Jabeur is someone who has the overall game and mindset to disrupt Swiatek's dominance."

Navratilova also backed former World No 2 Barbora Krejcikova and Maria Sakkari of Greece to be among the contenders for the top honours on the women's tour.

"I think you will see more players coming forward - Maria Sakkari also does that with her quickness and she puts those volleys away so easily.

"Barbora Krejcikova, with her doubles, is a good volleyer. They definitely need to get more aggressive with their positioning. Because the women move so well on the baseline and you have to play lights-out tennis to win. You don't need to play lights-out if you move forward more."

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