WTA world number one scenarios in Cincinnati

The battle for world number one heats up at the Western and Southern Open as five different women can claim that title to earn the right to be the top seed at the US Open.

WTA world number one scenarios in Cincinnati
Pliskova holds her trophy for becoming world number one before the Rogers Cup (Vaughn Rudley/Getty Images)

After Elina Svitolina's win at the Rogers Cup, the race for world number one on the women's has heated up. Four different women, including Svitolina herself, can claim the title of world number one. Depending on results, Karolina Pliskova can keep the title of world number one or Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, and Caroline Wozniacki can take over the top spot and earn the right to become the number one seed at the US Open. 

Garbiñe Muguruza cannot take over the top spot dropping semifinal points to start the event. 

Kerber's Scenarios

The two-time major champion can still reclaim world number one but it is unlikely that she'll take over that spot as her scenarios involve the withdrawal of Pliskova. However, should the Czech withdraw, here are the scenarios for her to take over world number one:

IF Kerber wins the title and Pliskova withdraws then one of the following has to happen

  1. Halep and Svitolina both lose before the semifinals
  2. Svitolina out before the final and Halep out before the semis 

Wozniacki's Scenarios

For the Dane, she'll be hoping to take over the title of world number one, something she has not held in five years. She will take over the world number one if she wins the title and all of the following happen

  1. Svitolina out in the final or earlier
  2. Halep out in the semis or earlier
  3. AND Pliskova out in the quarters or earlier

Svitolina's Scenarios

Starting Monday, the Ukrainian is at a new career-high of four in the rankings. She will need to at least reach the final to have a shot at taking over world number one. These are her scenarios: 

If she wins the title

  1. Cannot play Pliskova in the final

If she reaches the final

  1. Halep out before the semis or earlier, and Pliskova out in the third round or earlier
    Elina Svitolina is trying to do the US hard court double which would get her to number one if results go her way (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
    Elina Svitolina is trying to do the US hard court double which would get her to number one if results go her way (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Halep's Scenarios

The Romanian was knocked out of the Rogers Cup comprehensively by Svitolina, and the two are in the same section of the draw once again with another potential semifinal meeting on the horizon. Her points tally is kind enough that even if Kerber or Wozniacki won the title, she could be world number one, as long as she makes the final.

Here are her following scenarios:

If she wins the title

  1. She takes over the top spot regardless of other results

If she makes the final

  1. Pliskova out in the quarterfinals or earlier

If she makes the semis

  1. Wozniacki does not win the title, Svitolina does not make the final/win the title, and Pliskova out in the third round or earlier

Pliskova's Scenarios

The current world number one is the most likely to retain her spot with plenty of scenarios favoring her. However, she is dropping finals points so deep runs by one of the four ladies mentioned above could see her drop. Here are the Czech's scenarios to retain her ranking

If she wins the title

  1. She keeps world number one

If she makes the final

  1. Cannot be defeated by Simona Halep in the final

If she makes the semifinals

  1. Halep or Svitolina cannot win the title

If she makes the quarterfinals

  1. Halep cannot make the final or win the title OR
  2. Svitolina cannot win the title OR
  3. Wozniacki cannot win the title

If she makes the third round

  1. Halep out before the semifinals AND
  2. Svitolina out before the final AND
  3. Wozniacki does not win the title

If she is out in her opening round match (second round)

  1. Wozniacki does not win the title AND
  2. Svitolina does not win the title AND
  3. Halep out in the semifinals or earlier

Below is the points breakdown through each round for the five women