For the second season in a row, all 4 grand slam singles titles have been gained by a unique participant, whereas we additionally noticed the breakthrough of shiny younger stars reminiscent of American teenager Cori “Coco” Gauff.
However who shall be topped the perfect of the perfect on the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China?
The year-end finale pits the highest eight singles gamers and doubles pairs in round-robin motion earlier than a knockout part for a slice of a report $14 million purse.
Listed here are the 5 largest story traces for the showpiece occasion, which begins October 27:
Probably the most open WTA Finals in latest reminiscence?
From Ashleigh Barty at No. 1 within the standings to the ultimate lady to qualify, Elena Svitolina, who simply occurs to be the defending champion, you may make a superb case for any of the eight ladies to win the title.
The 4 grand slams have been shared between Naomi Osaka, Barty, Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu, whereas Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Belinda Bencic and Svitolina all have greater than professional claims on the title.
Can Naomi Osaka end on a excessive?
For a couple of months in the midst of the 12 months, it appeared as if taking part in tennis was a burden for Osaka. The Japanese celebrity had parted methods along with her coach, Sascha Bajin, shortly after profitable her second consecutive grand slam title on the Australian Open and climbing to the No. 1 spot.
She struggled with the elevated standing and heightened expectation and difficult losses adopted at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon. In August, Osaka informed reporters: “I most likely have not had enjoyable taking part in tennis since Australia.”
However the 21-year-old regained her confidence through the Asian swing, profitable back-to-back titles in Osaka, Japan and Beijing final month, and she or he is likely one of the favorites to clinch her first WTA Finals crown.
That is the richest title in tennis
With a complete of $14 million on supply — double the 2018 prize pot – there has by no means been a richer occasion in tennis, for girls or males.
If anybody goes by way of all the occasion unbeaten, they may take residence $four.725 million, which is nearly $1 million greater than Canada’s Andreescu earned for profitable the US Open in September. Even profitable one round-robin match means a assured $305,000 on high of a participation charge of $385,000.
Barty grew to become the primary Australian lady to win the French Open since Grand Slam report holder Margaret Courtroom in 1973 when she triumphed in Paris again in June. If she manages to win this week, she’ll develop into the primary Aussie to take the season-ending finals since her compatriot Evonne Goolagong, her hero, gained the WTA Finals in 1974 and 1976.
Barty was additionally the primary ladies’s No. 1 from Australia since Goolagong in 1976. And if she wins one among her first two round-robin matches, or performs all three, she’s going to take the coveted end-of-year No. 1 crown.
Can Andreescu pull off one other upset?
From her beautiful win in Indian Wells in March to her much more spectacular US Open triumph — which got here after a protracted harm break — the 19-year-old Andreescu has proven that she loves the massive stage.
Though Osaka ended her 17-match win streak within the quarterfinals of the China Open in Beijing in September, the younger Canadian is greater than able to pulling off one other big upset, supplied she is absolutely match.