WTA LADIES TENNIS UPDATE • RACING TO SEASON’S END WITH ASIAN SWING IN BEIJING WITH ALL EYES ON SINGAPORE

Written by: on 2nd October 2018
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WTA LADIES TENNIS UPDATE • RACING TO SEASON'S END WITH ASIAN SWING IN BEIJING WITH ALL EYES ON SINGAPORE  |
Photo by @WTA via Twitter

 

 

By: Thomas Cluck

 

Nothing summarizes the state of women’s tennis more these days than this: eight different women have won the last eight Grand Slam singles titles. Yet through all this supposed chaos, unpredictability, and turmoil, only two players have held the world number one ranking this season, multiple major finals were contested by the same player in 2018, and the biggest titles have largely gone to form.

 

Unsurprisingly, it’s been a mix of all of this this week in Beijing at the China Open, the final WTA Premier Mandatory event of the season before the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

 

Even with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova having already shut down their seasons for several reasons after the U.S. Open, the WTA Asian Swing surely hasn’t been without star power and drama, just different kinds of stars.

 

That new star power can be seen no more evidently than in the brilliant, bold, big-hitting youngsters of Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka, no longer rising stars and future top players. Osaka and Sabalenka are legitimate top threats of the women’s game and it’s clear they’re here to stay.

 

While her results so far this week in the Chinese capital added onto her dominant title runs in Indian Wells and recently at the U.S. Open propelled Osaka into the greatest eight slated for Singapore, her fellow 20 year-old Sabalenka is doing much the same to qualify- going bold, hitting big, and winning matches.

 

Currently at number 12 in the live WTA Race to Singapore, Sabalenka has a heavy test on her hands if she hopes to reach the prestigious year-end championships, with no less than a semifinal appearance at the China Open eliminating last week’s Wuhan champion from contention. But standing in her way will be defending champion Caroline Garcia who may have something to say about that.

 

Also still in Singapore contention are Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Julia Goerges, and Anastasija Sevastova.

 

For the current top eight still on the verge of Singapore qualification, their destiny is in their own hands as deep runs- specifically a semifinal for Wozniacki, a final for Stephens, and a title for Bertens or Pliskova- would book themselves a spot into the WTA’s crown jewel event in a few weeks time.

 

Meanwhile, for Kvitova, Svitolina, Sabalenka, Goerges, and Sevastova, it’s all about winning to stay alive in Beijing and beyond and watching the rest of the always scintillating and unpredictable action occur. With the current state of women’s tennis, everyone else’s eyes should be tuned in too.

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