There is a lot of oddness to Monday’s WTA Finals. For instance, Iga Swiatek could reclaim the No. 1 ranking and finish atop the rankings in back-to-back seasons, becoming the sixth-youngest player to accomplish that. This is also just the fifth time since 2000 that the year-end top ranking could change during the WTA Finals. So who is going to win (and who does Chris Evert think is going to be victorious) when Iga Swiatek and Jessica Pegula play in the WTA Finals final on Monday?
Swiatek leads the head-to-head versus Pegula 5-3, but Pegula has won two of the three meetings between the two players in 2023. Pegula won at the United Cup and in the semifinals of the Canada Open while Swiatek won in the final of the Doha Open. Neither Pegula nor Swiatek have lost a set at the WTA Finals yet, though. Clearly, that will change on Monday.
For the first time since the WTA began recording rankings in 1975, Jessica Pegula will become the first player to face the WTA No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 in a single event. She didn’t come close to losing against the seeds she has faced so far, though. That might change against Iga Swiatek.
Chris Evert makes pick to win WTA Finals and all you need to know
Chris Evert thinks so anyway, and Evert has a very good reason for thinking Swiatek will win. Chris Evert told the official WTA site, “The No.1 ranking hangs in the balance, and Iga does not want anything less. She came here to reclaim it, and she won’t stop in the final.”
Swiatek faced current No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals and knowing Switek had to win to have a chance to reclaim the top ranking, Swiatek was ruthless. The Pole faced only 2 break-points and won both, but she broke the big-hitting Sabalenka three times in the 6-3 6-2 win. The Belarusian also won just 7 of her 17 second-serve points.
Meanwhile, Pegula defeated her friend and doubles partner, Coco Gauff, 6-2 6-1 in a classic Pegula match. Pegula didn’t overpower Gauff but she didn’t beat herself either. Gauff was suffering with her serve, however, and had just one ace but 4 double faults.
Chris Evert thinks Swiatek is driven to regain No. 1 and who am I to argue with an 18-time Grand Slam champion? I do think each player loses a set in the final, but Swiatek will use her forehand to hammer away at Pegula and Swiatek will take the match in three sets and also retake the No. 1 WTA ranking.
The final will be held in Cancun, Mexico at 4:30 pm ET (1:30 pm PT) on Monday. The weather, seemingly for once at the tournament, should be fine as the temperature will be about 80 degrees with a light wind and partly cloudy skies.