There will not be a trip to Shenzhen once again this year to finish the year on the WTA tour but the tour finals will take place this year back in Guadalajara instead.
World number one Ashleigh Barty is confirmed for the tournament as is Aryna Sabalenka and Roland Garros winner Barbora Krecijkova. Karolina Pliskova is all but home and dry under 100 points away from qualifying so with four spaces left, who is competing?
The places could be narrowed down even more, there is an expectancy that we will not see Naomi Osaka again this season opening up another space to those behind her in the race but also maybe adding the cement to Maria Sakkari’s place? The Greek has a 500 point cushion but nothing is ever a guarantee in tennis, neither is Iga Swiatek’s lead on Muguruza just under 500 points.
We could argue without Swiatek or Sakkari in Chicago then it could open up but have we got 10 players battling for two places?
Muguruza – 2672
Jabeur – 2435
Pavlyuchenkova – 2385
Mertens – 2384
Gauff – 2325
Svitolina – 2283
Raducanu – 2282
Pegula – 2232
Kontaveit – 2198
Kerber – 2172
Badosa – 2112
Bencic – 2097
Kasatkina – 2061
Kvitova – 1946
Fernandez – 1911
It is soo open, and there is only about a month of tennis to play. Out of these 15 players above they fighting for two places but a big win or run at Indian Wells could make life very uncomfortable for Swiatek and Sakkari depending on how they get on.
Muguruza is in a good position but it is key to keep momentum. I do think her season has just fizzled out over the months. I hope it isn’t one of those season which showed promise early on but slipped away and of course had those match points against Osaka in Melbourne.
Svitolina I would say has a slight point to prove, it’s been an ‘ok’ season for the former WTA Finals champion, Kontaveit has added herself to the conversation with a title win in Ostrava and Pavlyuchenkova has struggled to pick up points since Roland Garros.
It will also be fascinating to see what form Raducanu and Fernandez bring to the rest of the season following their epic performances in New York.
Not many events left to pick up points before the 8th of November…