64 players but there can only be one winner. Wuhan is the place to be this next week with most of the top 20 involved and over 15 players taking part who could mathematically still qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore. The tournament also sees return of Maria Sharapova to the tour and could play Barbora Strycova in round two.
Maria’s first match in over 80 days!
Where else to start than with Maria Sharapova. Since defeat to Serena Williams in the semi-finals of Wimbledon over two months ago we haven’t seen Maria on a tennis court due to a number of injury issues however with her place in Singapore secured then from now until the 25th of October is a good chance to get some results on the board ahead of the finals. Sharapova receives a BYE for round one as the 2nd seed and will face Barbora Strycova in round two.
After a torrid time with injuries this year Cibulkova has been in good form recently and is climbing the rankings again with some impressive wins recently and has beaten Ana Ivanovic in New York and Tokyo recently and the Serbian must be sick of the sight of Cibulkova right now and the two could meet again this next week in the second round of Wuhan if both win their first round matches.
Petra Kvitova is the defending champion and defending her title would see her place in Singapore confirmed. She receives a BYE for round one but will face a tough round two match against Daria Gavrilova or Teliana Pereira who has been in good form throughout the year. Looking at her draw a run to the semi-finals looks on the cards but it will be interesting to see her play Karolina Pliskova in the quarter finals.
Big points to defend for Bouchard!
This time last year Eugenie Bouchard was the form player on the tour and she made the final of Wuhan so has big points to defend. She probably right now couldn’t have asked for a tougher match in Belinda Bencic who has been playing exceptionally well recently and a first round loss could see her fall further down the rankings haven’t started the week at 36!
Five players have withdrawn from the tournament prior to it taking part including 4 top 20 players in:
Lucie has been suffering will illness and injury so has withdrawn. US Open champion Flavia Pennetta has also withdrawn and so has Timea Bacinszky who since making the semi-finals of Roland Garros has won four matches and lost her last five on the tour!
As ever there will be previews of matches throughout the tournament and other pieces!