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A Look at the Singapore WTA Finals: Who Will Win this Coveted Prize?

October 01, 2016

- Grant Whittington

This year has been a transitional one in women’s tennis and the WTA, as the previously dominant Serena Williams has been usurped as world number one. In her stead, a new star has emerged in the form of Angelique Kerber, who has won two of this years’ Grand Slam events and maintained an incredible level of consistency throughout the year.

Kerber, who won the Australian and US Open events this year, was also the first to qualify for the coveted WTA Finals (which will take place in Singapore between 23rd and 30th October). Serena Williams has since followed her example, although there are plenty of other places up for grabs over the course of the next two weeks.

Who are the Contenders for the WTA Crown?

While Kerber may have recently lost her first match as world number one in a close contest with Petra Kvitova at the Wuhan Open, she remains the clear Singapore WTA Finals favourite. After all, she was extremely dominant in ending Williams’ reign in Australia at the beginning of the year, while at times she appeared unbeatable as she lifted the US Open title at Flushing Meadow. She even managed to secure an Olympic Silver medal in Rio, as she excelled consistently during her breakthrough season.

Make no mistake; however, she will be pushed hard by the brilliant, ever-competitive and four-times tour winner Serena Williams. The 22-time slam winner should never be discounted from contention, while it is also important remember that she managed to beat Kerber in straight sets while winning her seventh Wimbledon title during the summer. Clearly the start of a thrilling rivalry, these two are separated by only a few ranking points and have qualified for the WTA Finals with something to spare.

Elsewhere, however, just 1584 ranking points separate Simona Halep in third and Britain’s own Johanna Konta in 10th place. Any six of these eight competitors can challenge for a place in the finals, with Konta’s current run at the Wuhan Open (where she has reached the quarter-finals of the tournament) giving her an excellent chance of climbing the leaderboard. Last years’ winner and fifth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska is also likely to qualify, although it will be interesting to watch this space in the weeks’ ahead.

All Eyes on the China Open in Beijing

Beijing’s China Open, which commences today and remains a key ATP and WTA event, will have a huge bearing on the final outcome with a great deal at stake. Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza was victorious during last years’ event, and a repeat of this success would see her secure her place at the WTA Finals.

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