The 2016 Grand Slam season is in the books, but there is still plenty of tennis before the WTA's grand finale at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Top tier tournaments in Tokyo, Wuhan, and Beijing will help determine the remaining spots for Singapore. Who has already qualified and who has the edge heading into the Asian Swing?
"With only 40 days to go until the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the Road to Singapore is really heating up now with the best players putting in all their final efforts to secure a prized spot among the greatest eight," said Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals. "Women's tennis is truly exciting at the moment and I am sure that this year's WTA Finals will feature some of the most thrilling action on court. It is definitely going to be a great time for all the fans!"
Tournament Level: Tour Championships
Prize Money: $7,000,000
Draw Size: 8 main draw singles (round robin)/8 main draw doubles (knockout)
Main Draw Ceremony: Friday, October 21
First Day of Main Draw: Sunday, October 23, 5pm
Singles Final: Sunday, October 30, NB 7.30pm
Doubles Final: Sunday, October 30, 4pm
MUST FOLLOW SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:
@WTA_Insider - WTA Insider, Senior Writer Courtney Nguyen
@WTAFinalsSG - The official tournament Twitter for the WTA Finals
Get involved in conversations with the official hashtags, #WTAFinals and #WTA.
OPENING DAY ACTION:
This year, fans can look forward to the new Family Day At The Tennis festivities which will complement the scintillating action on Center Court on opening day. Session 1 ticket-holders will be given a Family Day At The Tennis Passport which they can use to earn themselves incentives and prizes such as front-row tickets, fast-track access to special activities, and a meet and greet with WTA legends, while attempting various activities and challenges at the all-new Fan Village.
- Top 2 on the WTA rankings, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber became the first two women to qualify for Singapore; leading the Road to Singapore leaderboard for most of 2016, Serena and Kerber contested two of the three Grand Slam finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon championships. The two will be making their 13th and fourth WTA Finals appearances respectively; Serena has won the title five times.
- By winning her second Grand Slam title at the US Open, Kerber moves up to No.1 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.
- Three doubles teams have already qualified. Australian Open champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza were the first women to qualify for Singapore, followed by French Open champions Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. Olympic Gold medalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina became the third team to qualify after reaching the semifinals of the US Open.
- Hingis and Mirza are defending champions and plan to play Singapore despite splitting after the Rogers Cup, while Garcia and Mladenovic will be making their first apperance as a team after debuting in 2015 with different partners. By reaching the US Open final, the French will take over the No.1 ranking on the Road to Singapore leaderboard.
MAKAROVA AND VESNINA QUALIFY FOR SINGAPORE:
- Makarova and Vesnina were forced to withdraw from the WTA Finals last year, but have qualified twice before, reaching the finals in 2013. The Russians rode a 13-match winning streak into the US Open semifinals with a title at the Rogers Cup before Rio. Learn more about Makarova and Vesnina's qualification story here.
SINGAPORE IN SIGHT FOR BUCIE?
- Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova were the second team to qualify for Singapore last year, but have played just six events in 2016 due to Safarova's struggles with illness and injury. Still, the captured their their major title as a pair at the US Open, moving up to No.7 on the RTS leaderboard.
LOOKING AHEAD: THE ASIAN SWING
Six spots in singles and five spots in doubles will be decided during the WTA tour's final stretch of the 2016 season. The first major tournament of the Asian Swing is the Premier-level Toray Pan Pacific Open, won by defending WTA Finals champion Agnieszka Radwanska last year. From there, the tour heads to China for back-to-back weeks at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open (won by Venus Williams) and the Premier Mandatory China Open (won by French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza).
Here is the current RTS leaderboard in singles and doubles; who will qualify next?
|1||ANGELIQUE KERBER(GER) - Q||1||CAROLINE GARCIA / KRISTINA MLADENOVIC (FRA/FRA) - Q|
|2||SERENA WILLIAMS(USA) - Q||2||MARTINA HINGIS / SANIA MIRZA(SUI/IND) - Q|
|3||SIMONA HALEP (ROU)||3||EKATERINA MAKAROVA / ELENA VESNINA (RUS/RUS) - Q|
|4||KAROLINA PLISKOVA(CZE)||4||TIMEA BABOS / YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA (HUN/KAZ)|
|5||AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (POL)||5||CHAN HAO-CHING / CHAN YUNG-JAN (TPE/TPE)|
|6||GARBIÑE MUGURUZA(ESP)||6||ANDREA HLAVACKOVA / LUCIE HRADECKA (CZE/CZE)|
|7||DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA(SVK)||7||BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS /LUCIE SAFAROVA (USA/CZE)|
|8||CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO (ESP)||8||JULIA GOERGES / KAROLINA PLISKOVA (GER/CZE)|
|9||MADISON KEYS (USA)||9||XU YI-FAN / ZHENG SAISAI(CHN/CHN)|
|10||JOHANNA KONTA (GBR)||10||RAQUEL ATAWO / ABIGAIL SPEARS (USA/USA)|
This article was first seen on wtatennis.com