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SERENA HANDED TOUGH START TO TITLE DEFENSE

Serena Williams will take on two of the WTA's brightest talents in the round robin stage of this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

On Saturday evening, a bumper crowd lined the boutiques of the The Shoppes at the extravagant Marina Bay Sands resort to catch a glimpse of the WTA's finest and, more importantly, find out the outcome of the draw for the 44th edition of the WTA Finals.

In homage to the host nation, the groups for the round robin stage of this year's tournament have been christened red and white - the colors of the Singapore flag.

As No.1 seed, Williams heads the Red Group, which also contains Simona Halep, Eugenie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic.

Meanwhile in the White Group, No.2 seed Maria Sharapova is joined by Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska and the in-form Petra Kvitova.

Halep and Bouchard have both enjoyed stellar years, making a mockery of their tender years to establish themselves in the Top 10. Just how far they have come, though, will be tested by Williams.

Despite turning 33 last month, Williams remains as fearsome as ever on court, arriving in Singapore fresh from a dominant US Open triumph. She is also in possession of a superb record at the WTA Finals, having won the past two titles.

“I think everyone here is here to win. Everyone here is tough. Every match is going to be tough, so you have to be ready for that," Williams said. "I haven’t played Bouchard this year, and I think she’s been the most consistent in all the Grand Slams, so she’ll be a really tough match.

"I don’t care who I play, to be perfectly honest with you. You can put me against anybody at this point, I’m ready. I really can’t wait for my match. I wish I had a match tomorrow.”

Focus in the White Group will no doubt center on the clash between former champions Sharapova and Kvitova. Sharapova retains an outside chance of overtaking Williams at the top of the rankings, although to do so she will probably need a flawless run at the Singapore Sports Hub.

“At this event, with a round robin draw of the top eight players, there’s no easy draw for anyone," Sharapova said. "I’m quite happy with my group. I think every match will be a challenge. There are some players that I’ve lost to this year, and some players that I beat, so it’s a little bit of everything.”

The most recent meeting between Sharapova and Kvitova came earlier this month, Sharapova triumphing in three sets in the final of the China Open.

RED GROUP (Seed):

Serena Williams (1)

Simona Halep (4)

Genie Bouchard (5)

Ana Ivanovic (7)

WHITE GROUP (Seed):

Maria Sharapova (2)

Petra Kvitova (3)

Agnieszka Radwanska (6)

Caroline Wozniacki (8)

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Tune-in to the Opening Ceremony on Monday, Oct. 20 at 7pm SGT!

The Draw Ceremony Replay is available here:

 




 

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