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Seven Cinderella for one crown

Seven Cinderella for one crown

Final WTA Championship in Singapore. The best among the rest

In the last week of October, the eight strongest tennis players gathered in Singapore, the Russian leaders in Vienna, and Federer in Basel again.

The final championship started on Sunday WTA in Singapore with 8 strongest tennis players at the end of the season. The total prize fund is very solid - $ 7 million. At the same time, just for participation, each tennis player will receive 110 thousand. And with each victory in the group and with further advancement in the playoff grid, the amount of the check will rapidly increase.

Singapore grid-2017

But the main thing at the moment is probably not even the prize money, which, of course, are also important. And the points and the struggle for leadership. Participation in each match will bring a tennis player 125 points, victory - the same amount. If a tennis player wins all three matches of the group stage, she will score 750 points, and if she wins all five matches in the tournament, including the semi-finals and the final, then she will get a maximum of 1500 points. So the density in the WTA rating list is now such that at once 7 out of 8 participants of the tournament according to its results, and, therefore, throughout the season, can become the first racket of the world thanks to these points. In fact, Singapore turned into a kind of ball, which was attended by 7 Cinderellas - applicants for the crown. The coronation will surely happen, but whoever becomes the 1st racket of the world, the debate about whether the diamonds in her crown are fake will not subside for a long time among rivals, experts and fans. Let's try to figure out why.

The season turned out to be rather strange. Longtime tour leader and multiple Grand Slam champion Serena Williams started off with a powerful win at the Australian Open, but then surprised everyone by announcing her pregnancy. The American gave birth in September and is about to return to tour early next season. However, she already missed this season. Former first racket of the world Victoria Azarenko after the birth of her son Leo started this year with a grass streak. In Mallorca, she reached the second round, at Wimbledon - to the 4th, but then interrupted her performances. At the moment, the Belarusian is preparing for the final of the Federation Cup, which will be held in Minsk against the US team. Since April, after the end of the period of ineligibility, another ex-first racket of the world, five-time helmet champion Maria Sharapova, began to return to service. But the Russian woman suffered injuries, as well as a misunderstanding on the part of the organizers of some tournaments and colleagues in the tennis workshop about providing her with a wild card. It was only in October that Sharapova won her first title in Tianjin, unsuccessfully performed at the Kremlin Cup and finished the year in the top 60.

In the offseason, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova survived a gang attack with a working left arm injury. She returned to service after rehab, won the title in Birmingham, climbed into the top 20, but did not have enough points before entering Singapore. Two-time helmet winner Angelica Kerber started the year as the first racket of the world, but the German woman had a rapid drop in results, and after losing in the first round of Luxembourg, she dropped out of the top 20. The season was also unsuccessful for the champion of Singapore-2016 Dominica Tsibulkova - after deducting the last points for last year, she was already in the top 30 area.

Of course, the personal problems of individual tennis players should not bother the rest. There will always be new applicants for the vacant place. As they say, ambitious understudies will come. The whole season there was a race to get to Singapore, the best and most stable were selected in the coveted eight. Here are just an unusual list of participants this year - it has been updated by 5/8 compared to last year. In this case, there are three newcomers at once. Two of the four winners of Grand Slam tournaments (Serena Williams and Sloane Stevens), two of the five tennis players who topped the WTA rating list during the year (the same Serena and Kerber), last year's champion of the tournament (Tsibulkova) will not play this season. Why is there a champion! All four participants in the Singapore 2016 semifinals (Tsibulkova, Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska and Svetlana Kuznetsova). True, the Russian woman at the last moment got to the tournament as the second reserve after the early end of the season by Johanna Conte. And Kuznetsova has a theoretical chance to enter the court instead of one of those who prematurely filmed, as well as the first reserve - Frenchwoman Christina Mladenovich.

The season was so unstable that 5 different tennis players visited the summit, and there was a record number of changes of leaders (for the entire existence of the computer rating since 1975) - seven times. The frequency of leader changes by the end of the year increased so much that three new tennis players (Plishkova, Mugurusa and Halep) visited the summit in 4 months. This is the first time in professional tennis.

So who eventually won the invitation to this ball in Singapore 2017? The first racket of the world Simona Halep, the veteran of the tour Venus Williams, another ex-first racket of the world Carolina Wozniacki, who returned to the top 8, two more tennis players who have been at the top of the ranking this season - Garbinier Mugurus and Karolina Plishkova. And three debutants of the eight - Elina Svitolina, Elena Ostapenko and Carolyn Garcia. Moreover, Ukraine and Latvia are for the first time represented in the final results. Seven of these tennis players, besides Garcia, can become the first racket of the world at the end of the tournament. Let's take a look at the success of the 2017 Singapore contestants this season and what has brought them where they are.

Red group

Simona Halep (Romania, 1)

Titles - 1 (Madrid)
Finals - 4 (Rome, Roland Garros , Cincinnati, Beijing)
1/2 finals - 2 (Stuttgart, Toronto)
1/4 finals - 5 (St. Petersburg, Miami, Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Washington)

Halep showAla the most stable game of the season. She reached the quarterfinals stage 12 times, played five finals, however, she won only one title - in Madrid. This season, Simona did not use three whole opportunities to become the first racket of the world at the end of the tournament, but every time she stopped one step away from achieving the goal. But the Romanian did not slow down and, according to the results of the tournament in Beijing, nevertheless became intermediate leaders. Now her task is to stay at the top.

Simona Halep has expanded the list of tennis players to seven who by the time they won the title of the first racket the world did not win in Grand Slam - Kim Kleisters, Amelie Moresmo, Elena Jankovic, Dinara Safina, Karolina Wozniacki, Karolina Plishkova and Halep herself. True, later Kleisters and Mauresmo filled this gap. But the rest could not cope with this pressure of others, or have not yet succeeded.

Elina Svitolina (Ukraine, 4 )

Titles - 5 (Taipei, Dubai, Istanbul, Rome, Toronto)
Finals - 0
1/2 final - 1 (Brisbane)
1/4 final - 2 ( Roland Garros, Beijing)

Elina Svitolina won the most single trophies in a season - five, while not losing a single final. She also owns a record streak of 15 wins. In particular, she defeated the first racket Halep twice a season - in the final of Rome and the semifinals of Toronto. The Ukrainian, like many other participants, claims the title of the first racket of the world according to the results of Singapore. If she achieves this goal, she will become another leader in the history of tennis - helpless along with Safina, Yankovich, Wozniacki, Plishkova and Halep.

Carolina Wozniacki (Denmark, 6)

Titles - 1 (Tokyo)
Finals - 6 (Doha, Dubai, Miami, Eastbourne, Bostad, Toronto)
1/2 finals - 0
1/4 finals - 6 (Oakland, Sydney, Indian Wells, Charleston, Roland Garros, Cincinnati)

Caroline Wozniacki was disastrously unlucky in the finals this season. She lost them 6 in a row, but in Tokyo she interrupted this sad streak and won the 26th title of her career. It is curious that the Danish woman stopped 6 times at the stage of the quarterfinals, but if she got into the semifinals, she invariably won it. It is curious that Carolina was haunted by failures on Grand Slam. The best result is the Roland Garros quarterfinals, but it was in 2017 that she was able to win 10 or more matches against top-10 players for the first time. All in all, the Danish won 55 meetings during the season - more than any other participant in Singapore-2017.

Caroline Garcia (France , 8)

Titles - 2 (Wuhan, Beijing)
Finals - 0
1/2 finals - 4 (Monterrey, Strasbourg, Mallorca, Bostad)
1/4 finals - 3 (Roland Garros, Toronto, Tokyo)

24-year-old Caroline Garcia was having a season that was not at all heroic. The most impressive was the Roland Garros quarterfinals, but duringduring the Asian series, she managed to make a fantastic Chinese double - winning Wuhan and Beijing. Thanks to this, she broke into the top eight of the final tournament, and also became the first French woman in the top 10 since Marion Bartoli. Note that in the capital of China, Garcia beat Svitolina and Halep, their rivals in the Red Group in Singapore

White Group

Garbinier Mugurusa (Spain, 2)

Titles - 2 (Wimbledon, Cincinnati)
Finals - 0
1/2 finals - 5 ( Brisbane, Rome, Birmingham, Stanford, Tokyo)
Quarterfinals - 4 (Australian Open, Indian Wells, Toronto, Wuhan)

Garbinier Mugurusa won her second helmet this season - Wimbledon, For 4 weeks she was the first racket of the world, and was also recognized as the player of the year according to the WTA version.

Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic, 3 )

Titles - 3 (Brisbane, Doha, Eastbourne)
Finals - 0
1/2 finals - 4 (Indian Wells, Miami, Roland Garros, Cincinnati)
1 / 4 finals - 7 (Australian Open, Stuttgart, Rome, Toronto, US Open, Tokyo, Wuhan)

Last year Karolina Plishkova made her debut in Singapore and did not overcome the group stage with one win in three matches. She has won three Premier tournaments this season and reached at least the quarterfinals in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. She also had victories over the top 10 players, in particular over her opponent in the White group - Garbinje Mugurusa (twice). After Wimbledon, Carolina was the first racket in the world for 8 weeks, but she has no titles on her helmets yet.

Venus Williams (USA , 5)

Titles - 0
Finals - 2 (Australian Open, Wimbledon)
1/2 finals - 2 (Miami, US Open)
1/4 finals - 2 ( Indian Wells, Rome)

Venus is the only member of this year's final eight who has already won this tournament (2008). She made her debut on it 18 years ago (in 1999), but this rally is only the fifth for her. At the same time, the American is the only one of the eight who did not win the title this year. But she was twice in the final of the Grand Slam (Australian Open and Wimbledon). No one else on the tour has such a result. Note that 37-year-old Venus is the third oldest tennis player in the final tournament after 39-year-old Billie-Jean King in 1983 and 38-year-old Martina Navratilova in 1994.

Elena Ostapenko (Latvia, 7)

Titles - 2 (Roland Garros, Seoul)
Finals - 1 (Charleston)
1 / 2 finals - 4 (Auckland, Prague, Wuhan, Beijing)
1/4 finals - 2 (Acapulco, Wimbledon)

At the age of 20, Ostapenko is the youngest player to make his debut in the final WTA tournament with the time of Wozniacki in 2010. Note that before this season, the Latvian woman had no titles at all, and she started right away with a helmet - Roland Garros.

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