On Tuesday night at the US Open, Sara Errani and Caroline Wozniacki will play for more than just a spot in the semifinals of the year's final Grand Slam: They will also play for a big boost on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.
Currently at 12th (Errani) and 15th (Wozniacki), the two former Grand Slam finalists are on the outside looking in on the leaderboard, something a US Open title (2,000 points), a runner-up performance (1,300 points) or a semifinal showing (780 points) could vastly change.
Sizzling Summers: It's been a summer of resurgence for Wozniacki, the former World No.1, who was No.27 on the leaderboard after her first round exit at Roland Garros. The last two months have changed all of that. A title in Istanbul (her first in nearly a year), a quarterfinal outing in Montréal and a semifinal appearance in Cincinnati (both ending in three set losses to World No.1 Serena Williams) have helped set the Dane up for a late run for Singapore.
Errani, too, can count on big points from her resurgence in the Big Apple. A semifinal alone would put her safely into the Top 10.
A semifinal would potentially position the winner of Errani vs. Wozniacki in the Top 10 of the leaderboard..
Flavia Pennetta will benefit from her run at the Open, as well. The Indian Wells champion has had an up-and-down season since her golden run in the desert (her first title since 2010), but a fifth quarterfinal here (430 points) will give her a boost from 16th on the leaderboard to closing in on the Top 10.
Ekaterina Makarova, following her win over Eugenie Bouchard on Monday, figures into the mix, as well. She's used a similar summer to Wozniacki (quarterfinals in Wimbledon, semifinals in both Washington DC and Montréal) to buoy 22nd-place position leading into the grass court major.
No Shoo-Ins, Yet: No WTA star has yet to clinch her spot in Singapore for the WTA Finals next month, but Serena Williams will be Singapore-bound should she reach the final in New York, making her the first to secure a ticket. She's currently third, and an appearance in the final would easily vault her ahead of Maria Sharapova (out in the fourth round at the US Open) and Simona Halep (third round).
Li Na stays comfortable in fifth place and Petra Kvitova in sixth.
Familiar Faces on Outside Looking In: A five-time WTA Finals qualifier, Victoria Azarenka has missed much of the season with a nagging foot injury and exited early at Wimbledon. She would need win the title in order to bring herself back into the picture. Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber (RTS #9) and Jelena Jankovic (RTS #11) didn’t overly help themselves with so-so showings at the US Open.
The Biggest Message?: Wozniacki and Errani are fully part of the Asian swing conversation, that due to breakthrough summers (and NYC efforts). Who goes to Singapore? It looks like it'll all come down to the next few weeks on tour.