In case you’re already suffering from post-tennis depression after the WTA Finals Singapore ended yesterday – don’t worry, there’s still one more tournament to go – the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai where the No.9-No.20 position players on the Race to Singapore leader board get to participate and fight for the prestigious Zhuhai crown. The draw has been made, and I’ll break it down in this post…
 Kristina Mladenovic (No.10)
Best moments of the season: Clay swing (RG 4R, Madrid, Stuttgart final), breaking into top 10
Worst moments of the season: Went out early in all Slams except RG, Ten-match losing streak since Washington DC, including double bagel to Wang Qiang in Tokyo
Win-loss record in 2017: 38-26
Form: As aforementioned above, she’s on a ten-match losing streak. Form is rotten…
Julia Goerges (No.18)
Best moments of the season: Finals in Mallorca, Bucharest and Washington. Won Moscow a couple of weeks ago. Breaks into top 20 again since breakout season in 2012. Consistency at its highest in her entire career
Worst moments of the season: She lost three straight finals till Moscow as mentioned above. Also, she failed to make an impact at Grand Slams, with her best result being a fourth round appearance at the US Open
Win-loss record in 2017: 44-23
Form: As high its ever been since 2012
Magdalena Rybarikova (No.22)
Best moments of the season: Came back onto tour since Wimbledon 2016 in February, rose from No.453 all the way to No.22 in the world. Won four ITF titles before stunning Karolina Pliskova enroute to reaching the Wimbledon semifinals. Continued good form by reaching the final in Linz
Worst moments of the season: Nothing really bad for Rybarikova throughout this season, maybe struggled a little after Wimbledon, winning only three main draw matches during the US hard court swing
Win-loss record in 2017: 48-16
Form: Pretty good but seemed to struggle with injury in Linz
🌸Azalea Group🌸 analysis: Mladenovic is clearly struggling, but with the WTA you never know! Goerges and Rybarikova are in-form opponents so it needs a lot from the Frenchwoman to get past them. Judging on last year’s court speed, it’s pretty fast, so I guess that’ll favour Goerges…
 CoCo Vandeweghe (No.12)
Best moments of the season: Vandeweghe was amazing at the Slams. Apart from Roland Garros (clay, her worst surface), she made the quarterfinals or better in the other three Slams.
Worst moments of the season: Apart from the Slams, she didn’t have much success on the WTA tournaments which she only made three quarterfinals throughout the whole season.
Win-loss record in 2017: 30-17
Form: Since the US Open, she is 1-2 (only win coming against Vekic). Pretty bad.
Elena Vesnina (No.17)
Best moments of the season: Winning the Indian Wells title, her biggest singles title of her career to date. She also had success in doubles as usual with Ekaterina Makarova, winning the Wimbledon doubles crown.
Worst moments of the season: Vesnina has 2195 ranking points… almost half of that came from Indian Wells! If you take out the six wins from Indian Wells, her win-loss record is actually 20-24. Since that run she hasn’t made a quarterfinal in singles at all.
Win-loss record in 2017: 26-24
Form: On a three-match losing streak with disappointing losses to Luksika Khumkum in Seoul and Natalia Vikhlyantseva in Moscow. Not good.
[WC] Peng Shuai (No.27)
Best moments of the season: Peng claimed the second title of her career in Nanchang. During the Asian swing, she also did decent even with a knee injury, claiming seven wins during that span.
Worst moments of the season: Overall she had a solid season, but she failed to make the second week at any Slams, the best being a third round appearance at Wimbledon.
Win-loss record in 2017: 41-23
Form: Decent, even with that knee injury.
🌷Bougainvillea Group🌷 analysis: If that knee’s feeling okay, then I’m going Peng Shuai all the way. Vandeweghe and Vesnina are way too inconsistent and Peng will definitely be feeling the energy from the home crowd.
 Sloane Stephens (No.13)
Best moments of the season: Since her comeback after an injury, returning to the tour in Wimbledon, Sloane Stephens was pretty unbeatable during the US hard court swing, reaching back-to-back semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati and claiming her first Grand Slam title in NYC.
Worst moments of the season: Since the US Open, Stephens has been on an understandable lull, losing in her openers in Wuhan and Beijing. She also withdrew from Hong Kong, seemingly citing a left knee injury.
Win-loss record in 2017: 15-6
Form: Hard to tell with that injury. I guess the post-Slam lull should have been gone by now…
Anastasija Sevastova (No.15)
Best moments of the season: Anastasija Sevastova claimed her first WTA title in Mallorca this season. She also thrived on clay, reaching the semifinals in Madrid, and also reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, repeating her performance from 2016.
Worst moments of the season: Many a times, Sevastova has looked insecure and strangely inconsistent displays, which has resulted in one-sided losses such as to Petra Martic in Roland Garros, Ana Bogdan in Bucharest and Naomi Osaka in Toronto.
Win-loss record in 2017: 35-23
Form: She’s on a four-match losing streak at the moment, with her most recent loss coming to Irina-Camelia Begu in Moscow.
Barbora Strycova (No.23)
Best moments of the season: Barbora Strycova squeezed into the entry list for Zhuhai after her wonderful run to the Linz title (partly also of Madison Keys’ and Svetlana Kuznetsova’s withdrawals).
Worst moments of the season: Strycova is another player who didn’t perform very well during the Slams in which her only second week appearance was at the Australian Open. She also had a minor lull during the US Hard court swing, winning only three matches during that span.
Win-loss record in 2017: 42-24
Form: Probably sky high in confidence after that Linz title
🌺Camellia Group🌺 analysis: I think Strycova will do well here – she played in Zhuhai last year and should have been accustomed to the round robin format, as opposed to the other two who are new to the year-end events. Form also suggests the Czech will qualify out of this group…
 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No.14)
Best moments of the season: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had a super season in 2017, reaching four finals in Monterrey, Rabat, Tokyo and Hong Kong, winning the first two.
Worst moments of the season: Pavlyuchenkova suffered three round one losses in Slams, furthermore to lower calibre players she should have beaten (Veronica Cepede Royg in RG, Arina Rodionova in Wimbledon and Christina McHale in US).
Win-loss record in 2017: 40-23
Form: Very good Asian swing for Pavs thus she should be in pretty good form
Angelique Kerber (No.19)
Best moments of the season: Definitely the run to the Tokyo semifinals, Angelique Kerber’s best tournament of the year after a torrid season.
Worst moments of the season: To be honest everything this year has been horrible for Angie! I wonder how did she even make it to Zhuhai…
Win-loss record in 2017: 29-22
Form: Lost her last four of five matches, really bad form…
Ashleigh Barty (No.20)
Picture by me
Best moments of the season: Starting the year at No.271, Barty had an incredible season by climbing to No.20 in the world. She won her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur, reached finals in Birmingham and Wuhan, and also had doubles success with Casey Dellacqua, reaching the Roland Garros final.
Picture by me
Worst moments of the season: There are really no bad moments for Barty’s 2017 but if you want to be picky then it is she didn’t do very well at the Slams, not reaching the second week in any of them.
Win-loss record in 2017: 40-15
Form: She’s coming off Zhuhai with an opening-round loss in doubles in Singapore so I would say… decent.
🌹Rose Group🌹 analysis: Kerber has had lost her past few matches to Pavlyuchenkova so I don’t see her making her mark in Zhuhai. I think Barty could be the dark horse in this competition… She will be coming to Zhuhai from Singapore which is a completely different surface to the Elite Trophy’s so I’m not sure she can get adjusted so quickly. Thus, I’ll go for the seeded Pavlyuchenkova.
Finalists: Goerges, Strycova
Thanks for reading and Zhuhai predictions will be out soon!