With Jo Konta pulling out of Moscow next week with a foot injury and Caroline Garcia making her late surge, we now know our final 8 for Singapore!
(1)Simona Halep – The current world number one heads the list and does look to be back to some form of late. Halep will have been disappointed to lose the final in Beijing to Garcia having looked superb all week, victories included a hammering of Maria Sharapova and Ostapenko! She had been suffering from two consecutive first-round losses prior to this, Sharapova at the US and Daria Kasatkina in Wuhan. Runner-up to Serena in 2014 Tour Finals!
(2) Garbine Muguruza – The Spaniard has been suffering from injury and illness of late, but has also said that the End of Year finals and world number one spot are a priority. You would expect her to come out firing here and we have learned that she is a big game player, who has the ability to step it up! Certainly not unbeatable, but right now the Wimbledon champion is the player to beat in Singapore!
(3) Karolina Pliskova – Seems to have been struggling with her form over the last month but still fairly consistent in posting results. The serve can keep her afloat at times but this is a compact field with nothing between a lot of them, she will need to be at her best match after match. Loses to Kerber, Barty and Cirstea in her last three events after the US Open!
(4) Elina Svitolina – Svitolina has proved she can beat her counterparts and was very close to beating Garcia in the Beijing quarters, serving for it twice! The surface may go against her in Singapore compared to some of her rivals, but you can be sure the Ukranian will leave it all out there. She had success in Toronto and lost to Madison Keys in New York. Looked to be in good nick in Beijing but pulled out of Hong Kong along with Wozniacki this week after winning a round. Precautionary in both cases I would guess!
(5)Caroline Wozniacki – There is no doubt the Dane has become more aggressive in my eyes. She bounced back well from an unusually early loss at Flushing Meadows to reign supreme in Tokyo with some impressive performances. Woz seems to have wound down the last couple of weeks with losses to Sakkari and Kvitova in Wuhan and Beijing. Will go again and come out stronger in Singapore you would fancy! Came close to beating Serena in the semi’s in 2014 and was runner-up to Clijsters in 2010!
(6) Venus Williams – It is great to have her back after runners-up spots in Melbourne and London and she was only a whisker away from the final in New York, losing to Sloane. This will be the first time since 2010 that Venus has qualified, she withdrew with a knee injury on that occasion. The previous year she lost to her sister in the final. No reason why she won’t go very close again here, she won the event in 2008! Only played one event since NYC which ended in a second-round loss to Naomi Osaka in Hong Kong this week.
(7) Jelena Ostapenko – The French Open Champion has had an incredible season!
Aside from the obvious, I have been more impressed by the way the 20-year-old hasn’t tailed off since that victory in Paris, it would have been so easy to do so! Back to back semi-finals in Wuhan and Beijing and she will be a threat that nobody will want to deal with in Asia! All out attack will be on the menu for the Latvian!
(8) Caroline Garcia – She comes in as the most inform player on tour currently! Back to back titles were impressively landed in Wuhan and Beijing, in back to back weeks! That is some going! The serve has been purring of late and the confidence in her game is there for all to see. She has come back from the brink in several matches recently, namely against Barty in the final of Wuhan and against Svitolina in the quarter’s the week after! Played really well against Halep when the chips were down in Beijing, once again showing a lot of heart!
Andy Del Potro