The best players of the 2023 WTA Tour have opened the 2024 season with a bang. Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, and Coco Gauff each advanced to the finals of their first tournaments of the year, proving they are still the best in the game. Elena Rybakina appears to be in the best form.
In a rematch of last year's Australian Open final, Elena Rybakina trounced Aryna Sabalenka 6-0, 6-3 to win her sixth career singles title. Rybakina outclassed the field during the tournament, dropping serve only once in four matches.
Against Sabalenka, Rybakina was equally ruthless on the return. Rybakina's form petered out towards the end of last year, but she appears to be healthy and full of confidence to open the season. Based on form alone, Rybakina appears the early favorite for the Australian Open crown.
Elena Rybakina romps to Brisbane title
Sabalenka will undoubtedly be disappointed with her performance in the finals. On the bright side, she seems prepared and in good form as she tries to defend her Australian Open title. She may hope to be drawn in a separate half from Rybakina.
Iga Swiatek steers Poland to United Cup final
World number one Iga Swiatek entered the United Cup final undefeated in both singles and mixed doubles. Swiatek was tested by Caroline Garcia in the semifinals but ultimately breezed through the last two sets. In the finals, Swiatek faced former world number one Angelique Kerber in Kerber's first tournament as a mother.
During the week, Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz were particularly impressive in doubles, including a 6-0, 6-0 win over Team Spain. The two appear to be the team should they reunite at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Coco Gauff defends Auckland title
US Open champion Coco Gauff successfully defended her title in Auckland, outlasting Elina Svitolina in three sets. Gauff's forehand and second serve appeared shaky at times during the final, but she was able to steel herself and reel in the stroke during the biggest moments. Gauff has not had major success at the Australian Open, but she appears full of confidence and is playing good tennis. I predicted Gauff would have another successful season, and she is certainly off to a flying start.