Race to Singapore hots up for Muguruza, Kerber, Kvitova, Pennetta, Radwanska and more
Only two women have thus far sealed their places at the WTA Championships in Singapore
With the announcement that world No1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from the defence of her title at the WTA Championships in Singapore at the end of the month, only two women have thus far sealed their places.
World No2 Simona Halep and No3 Maria Sharapova top the list of eight, though Sharapova herself is an absentee from the lucrative Premier Mandatory that gets underway this weekend in Beijing after picking up a new injury on her return to the tour in Wuhan.
Current No6 in the race, Lucie Safarova, is also contending with health and injury issues and does not play in Beijing, though she remains on the start list for Moscow later this month.
To add to the thrill of the Race, this year in particular sees many of the chasing contenders closely packed in the charge to Singapore, such that a strong run in Beijing, or titles in the remaining Asian Internationals in Hong Kong and Tianjin, or thereafter when the tour heads back west to Moscow—another Premier event—and the Internationals in Linz and Luxembourg, could make all the difference.
While more than 20 players are, in theory, still in with a chance of qualification for Singapore, many of them have the slimmest of chances. For example, Daria Gavrilova, Camila Giorgi, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Irina-Camelia Begu would need to win Beijing, one of the Internationals, and Moscow to qualify.
But who are the strongest contenders for the remaining six places? And which players are packing in the tournaments in a frantic three weeks to try and join the prestigious season-ending event?
The Race to Singapore
This week: Beijing’s China Open, Premier Mandatory
W/b 12 October: Linz, Tianjin, Hong Kong—all Internationals
W/b 19 October: Moscow Premier, Luxembourg International
[Serena Williams, 9945 points] Withdrawn
1 Simona Halep, 5,735 points: playing Beijing
2 Maria Sharapova, 4,321 points
Next in line:
NB just 1,205 points separate No8 and No24, with Beijing alone worth 1,000 to the winner
3 Garbine Muguruza, 3,578 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Hong Kong
4 Petra Kvitova, 3,483 points: playing Beijing, Moscow
5 Angelique Kerber, 3,385 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Moscow
6 Lucie Safarova, 3,222 points: Moscow
7 Karolina Pliskova, 3,140 points: playing Beijing, Tianjin
8 Carla Suarez Navarro, 3,065 points: playing Beijing, Moscow
9 Venus Williams, 3,037 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Hong Kong
10 Flavia Pennetta, 3,034 points: playing Beijing
11 Agnieszka Radwanska, 2,956 points: playing Beijing, Tianjin
12 Belinda Bencic, 2,895 points: playing Beijing, Tianjin
13 Caroline Wozniacki, 2,681 points: playing Beijing, Linz
14 Roberta Vinci, 2,631 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Linz, Luxembourg
15 Timea Bacsinszky, 2,548 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Luxembourg
16 Madison Keys, 2,496 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Linz, Luxembourg
17 Elina Svitolina, 2,455 points: playing Beijing, Tianjin
18 Sara Errani, 2,411 points: playing Beijing, Linz, Luxembourg
19 Ana Ivanovic, 2,293 points (including R2 Beijing): playing Beijing, Luxembourg
20 Victoria Azarenka, 2,276 points: playing Hong Kong
21 Jelena Jankovic, 2,230 points: playing Beijing, Luxembourg
22 Ekaterina Makarova, 2,202 points: Moscow
23 Andrea Petkovic, 1,988 points: playing Beijing, Luxembourg
24 Kristina Mladenovic, 1,860 points: playing Beijing (lost R1), Tianjin, Moscow