The WTA Finals will be kicking off Wednesday, November 10 in Guadalajara, Mexico with eight top-ranked women in the world. However, World No.1 Ashleigh Barty opted to skip the event. That opened the door for other players to fill in those slots and be a part of the biggest event left in the calendar. There are no previous champions this year meaning, there will be a first time WTA Finals winner. Here are the eight women who will be competing to earn the last prestige trophy of the year.
Who are Eight Players at the 2021 WTA Finals?
The Belarusian enjoyed a great year as she finished as World No.2, won two titles, reached the semifinals of two Grand Slams, finished with a record of 44 wins and 16 loses, and reached her first WTA Finals. No doubt this is by far her most successful year as a professional and she will look to finish the year with another trophy.
Although, it will not be easy as this tournament will be the most difficult when it comes to the list of names as the top eight ranked tennis players will be in the event. With that being said she is still the favorite to win the event but that could play against her. It will be interesting to see how she handles being the top seeded player in the event. Playing in hard courts will benefit her game on the plus side and we will see her heavy hitting from the start.
The Czech player enjoyed a great year and won her biggest singles trophy thus far, Roland Garros. She also won the doubles title win Siniakova at the French open as she completed sweep of trophies. That is a remarkable achievement as she started the year as the World No.65 in singles. She was most known as a great doubles player and enjoying major success with her doubles partner and compatriot Katerina Siniakova. They both reached World No.1 in doubles back in 2018 but Krejčíková was never known as being a great singles player.
Clearly that changed this year as she played lights out this year and was very consistent throughout the season. She won her first singles title on tour as she won the Strasbourg Open and at one point in the season won 15 straight matches. After reaching the round of 16 at Wimbledon, she went on to win her third trophy in home soil by winning the Prague Open. No doubt she is a tricky opponent in the tournament that has nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
She will open up the tournament against Anett Kontaveit in a tough first match. The Estonian is in a hot streak and can complicate things for the Czech.
Another Czech player who is constantly in the top ten and is a great player. This year she had a lot of ups and downs. She reached the final at Wimbledon but lost to Ashleigh Barty. Pliskova has not won a title this year and that can change if she has a great run in this tournament.
She will start this tournament against Garbiñe Muguruza and is the most experienced of the four players in the group. She has qualified to the WTA Finals for five years straight and reached the semifinals in the last three events. Against Muguruza she has a record of eight wins and two losses. Versus Krejčíková she leads the head-to-head with two wins and zero losses. Against Kontaveit she also leads their head-to-head with three wins and no losses.
Evidently, Pliskova will be the one to defeat in this group and we will see if her experience in this event can help her advance to the next round.
The Greek is enjoying the best year of her career and is the fourth seed in the tournament. She continues to make history as she has been doing the whole year. Sakkari became the first Greek female player to reach the semis at a Grand Slam, debut in the Top 10 WTA ranking, and qualify for the WTA Finals.
At the beginning of the season Sakkari made it to the semifinals at the Miami Open. When the clay court season began, she made decent runs in Stuttgart, Madrid, and Rome. Her biggest accomplishment was reaching the semifinals at the French Open. When the hard court season went underway once again, she made another semifinal appearance at a Major. This time at the US Open and defeating Kostyuk, Siniakova, Kvitova, Andreescu, and Pliskova.
Her hot run continued when she reached the final at the Ostrava Open which gave her the chance to be qualify to the WTA Finals.
The young Polish star started the year strong by winning the title in Adelaide without losing a set. At the clay courts she played well and won the tile in Rome. She reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and was unable to defend her title from last year. She reached the semis in Ostrava, which helped her clinch a spot at the WTA Finals.
Swiatek is a great player who has experience playing in big tournaments despite being 20 years old. She has the capability to defeat any player at any surface and she is a player to watch at this tournament. She is in the same group as Sabalenka, Sakkari, and Badosa. All four are very young and very talented to say the least. She is the only one of the group that has won a Grand Slam and will try to use her experience to achieve great things in this tournament.
Surprisingly, this will be the Spaniards first appearance at this prestigious event. She is a former World No.1 player and has won two Grand Slam titles. Nonetheless, she has enjoyed a great season as she won two titles this year in Dubai and Chicago. Muguruza is trying to end the season on a high note and will start the competition against Pliskova. It is definitely a tough match and will also play against Kontaveit and Krejčíková.
Without a doubt she faces some great opponents but the Spaniard has the capacity to overcome a tough draw as she has done so before. Earlier in the year she defeated Krejčíková and she has also defeated Pliskova in the past. Her experience can help her come through in a tough group but she must play smart so that she can avoid an early exit.
Badosa is unquestionably having the best year of her career. The 23-year-old is coming from her biggest title yet in winning Indian Wells. Earlier in the year she reached her first hard court semifinal in Lyon losing to the eventual champion Clara Tauson. When the clay court season started she reached the semis in Charleston and Madrid. After that, she won her first title in Belgrade without dropping a set. She reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
Her style of play can complicate any opponent and no doubt is a dark horse in this tournament.
Kontaveit is the first Estonian to reach the Top 10 and is currently on a ten-match winning streak. This year she has won three titles–Cleveland, Ostrava, and the Kremlin Cup–and is one of the most in form players on tour. She starts off the tournament against Krejčíková in a first match encounter between the two. Both players are very skillful and we will see if her winning run continues or if it comes to an end.
Since losing to Ons Jabeur at the Western & Southern Open, she has won 26 matches and lost just twice.That is an incredible run and we will see if her winning streak can continue or if she runs out of gas in the end.
Main Photo from Getty.