Prudential Hong Kong Open 2017 Main Draw Preview

The end of the season is nearing, but there’s still a lot more tennis action to follow with three events for next week – Hong Kong, Linz and Tianjin. I’ll be breaking down the Hong Kong draw in this post, where the city will play host to some of the biggest names and in-form players.

Top seeds’ profiles

[1] Elina Svitolina (No.3)

Image result for svitolina beijing 2017

Player overview: Hong Kong will be Elina Svitolina’s third International tier tournament of the year and every time she has played an International event, it has paid dividends. After a mediocre Australian swing, Svitolina headed to the Taiwan Open where she won the title, which boosted her confidence and led her to the Dubai title. During the clay swing, Svitolina headed to Istanbul instead of the bigger tier tournament in Stuttgart which brought a little controversy, but it paid off once more where she then won the title in Rome and quarterfinals in French Open. Svitolina chose to skip Wuhan so I feel that taking a wildcard into Hong Kong is a super wise decision to get some more matches before the WTA Finals in two weeks time. The World No.3 has a smooth path to the semifinals and it won’t be surprising if she goes 3-0 in International tournaments this year…

Recent results: Cincinnati 3R, US Open 4R, Beijing QF

Draw projections: Svitolina kicks off her Hong Kong campaign against Zarina Diyas, with the other seed in her section Zhang Shuai.

Hong Kong win-loss record: First appearance

[2] Venus Williams (No.5)

Image result for venus williams hong kong 2017

Player overview: It has been a super year for Venus Williams. Although having not won a title this year, she reached the second week in all four majors, including the semifinals in NYC, and the finals in Australia and Paris. Hong Kong is Venus Williams’ first Asian tournament after the American was forced to withdraw from Beijing with a back injury. She will need to get some more matches this week as the 37-year-old veteran will make her first visit to the WTA Finals since 2009.

Recent results: Toronto 3R, Cincinnati 2R, US Open SF

Draw projections: Venus plays Risa Ozaki in round one (more on that below), and possibly a youth vs experience contest against Naomi Osaka (more on that below too).

Hong Kong win-loss record: 4-2 (2015 SF)

[3] Caroline Wozniacki 

Image result for caroline wozniacki hongkong trophy

Player overview: Caroline Wozniacki is another player that will make her appearance at the WTA Finals this year after a stellar season which saw her make seven finals. Wozniacki historically hasn’t performed her best in finals where she is 26-23 in them, including a six match losing streak in finals this year, but finally broke the duck where she won the title in Tokyo. The Dane will try to make it 27 titles this week where she is the defending champion here.

Recent results: Tokyo champion, Wuhan 2R, Beijing 3R

Draw projections: Wozniacki meets Eugenie Bouchard in a fascinating opener, then seeded to play Daria Gavrilova in the quarterfinals.

Hong Kong win-loss record: 5-0 (2016 champion)

[4] Agnieszka Radwanska

Image result for agnieszka radwanska beijing 2017

Player overview: Out of the top 4 seeds, Aga Radwanska has had the worst year of them all but seems to be finding some form of late in Asia as usual where she always thrives at. Radwanska’s losses of late haven’t been that bad, to Coco Vandeweghe, Ashleigh Barty and Daria Kasatkina and she will try to bring some form to Hong Kong where she will be aiming to win her first title of the season. The Pole’s last season without a title was in 2010.

Recent results: US Open 3R, Wuhan 3R, Beijing 3R

Draw projections: Aga plays local wildcard Zhang Ling in her last tournament of the year’s opener and potentially Samantha Stosur in round 2, who leads their head to head 3-1 but is struggling since her comeback.

Hong Kong win-loss record: First appearance

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