2018 WTA Finals Singapore: Player Profiles

The WTA tour heads into the final two weeks of the season as the top 20 players of 2018 will participate in the WTA Finals and WTA Elite Trophy over the fortnight. The WTA Finals in Singapore will take place this Sunday, and the draw has already put our Elite Eight into two different groups for the round-robin stages. Let’s take a look at our Elite Eight and their successes and stats for the season…

Seeded 1 – Angelique Kerber

Image result for kerber beijing 2018 wta

Highs of 2018 season: After a terrible 2017 season which saw Angelique Kerber drop from No.1 to No.21 in the rankings, Kerber went on an absolute tear in Australia which saw her reach the final of the Hopman Cup, title in Sydney and semifinals in the Australian Open. Kerber managed to score a personal best result in the French Open by reaching the quarterfinals and was definitely one of the most consistent players on the tour in the first half of the season, reaching eight quarterfinals out of nine tournaments played, At Wimbledon, Angie collected her third Slam title courtesy of a third career victory over Serena Williams, propelling her back into the world’s top three.

Lows of 2018 season: Since Wimbledon it has been a struggle for Kerber, who has not come close to the form we saw her in Australia. A few days ago Kerber just announced that she has parted ways with Wim Fissette – due to disagreements – and that perhaps may have affected her game in recent months. Kerber lost in the third round of the US Open to Dominika Cibulkova and could not reverse her fortunes in Asia where she lost in the third round of both Wuhan and Beijing. Her loss to Zhang Shuai in Beijing was a terrible one; in which she only won seven points in the third set. Kerber’s definitely not coming into Singapore in great form at all.

Win-loss record in 2018: 45-17

Titles in 2018: 2 (Sydney, Wimbledon)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 5-8

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – SF (i. Halep)
RG – QF (i. Halep)
Wimby – Champion (d. S.Williams)
USO – 3R (i. Cibulkova)

WTA Finals win-loss record: Fourth appearance, 5-6 record (2016 finalist)

Seeded 2 – Caroline Wozniacki

Image result for wozniacki beijing 2018 wta

Highs of 2018 season: After years where Wozniacki has always been referred to as the ‘Slamless World No.1’, the Dane finally ended all jokes in the beginning of the year where she beat Simona Halep to claim her elusive Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Wozniacki also claimed her 29th and 30th WTA titles in Eastbourne and Beijing respectively.

Lows of 2018 season: Wozniacki has always been known as the epitome of consistency on the tour so it has pretty surprising to see her suffer some uncharacteristic losses and inconsistencies this season. The US hard court swing particularly was a disappointing few months for Wozniacki where she lost in the first round in Montreal and Cincinnati, and exited in the second round in New York City.

Win-loss record in 2018: 40-15

Titles in 2018: 3 (Australian Open, Eastbourne, Beijing)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 2-0

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – Champion (d. Halep)
RG – 4R (i. Kasatkina)
Wimby – 2R (i. Makarova)
USO – 2R (i. Tsurenko)

WTA Finals win-loss record: Sixth appearance, 12-9 record (2017 champion)

Seeded 3 – Naomi Osaka

Image result for osaka naomi us open 2018

Highs of 2018 season: Osaka burst into the tennis world with a bang with a stunning title run in Indian Wells which saw her beat the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska, Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep and fellow young talent Daria Kasatkina in the final for her first ever WTA title. Osaka thrived in America once again where she came out of nowhere to win the US Open title, beating Serena Williams in a controversy-laden final. Even more impressively is how Osaka has backed up the title, continuing to play well in the Asian swing with finals in Tokyo and semifinals in Beijing. Osaka though looked exhausted in Beijing, so a two-week break before the Finals would have done her a world of good.

Lows of 2018 season: Osaka publicly posted on Twitter right before the US Open about how much the expectations of winning Indian Wells had got to her. Indeed, the results weren’t there since March, yet it still wasn’t a complete disaster as she reached the third rounds in both the French Open and Wimbledon during that span. From being known as a young ball-basher last year, it is stunning how Osaka has been able to find immense consistency with coach Sascha Bajin in just a year’s time.

Win-loss record in 2018: 43-18

Titles in 2018: 2 (Indian Wells, US Open)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 3-6

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – 4R (i. Halep)
RG – 3R (i. Keys)
Wimby – 4R (i. Kerber)
USO – Champion (d. S.Williams)

WTA Finals win-loss record: First appearance

Seeded 4 – Petra Kvitova

Image result for kvitova beijing 2018

Highs of 2018 season: Petra Kvitova is the leader with most WTA titles at 5, claiming trophies in St.Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid and Birmingham. Kvitova amassed a 14-match winning streak from St.Petersburg to Indian Wells.

Lows of 2018 season: Kvitova has been dismal at the Slams this season, losing in the first week in all four majors. Kvitova is another player who is not bringing form into Singapore as she crashed out in the opening rounds in both Wuhan and Beijing. On a slow court in Singapore, Kvitova will definitely need to raise her level to get the round robin stages.

Win-loss record in 2018: 47-14

Titles in 2018: 5 (St.Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid, Birmingham)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 7-1

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – 1R (i. Petkovic)
RG – 3R (i. Kontaveit)
Wimby – 2R (i. Sasnovich)
USO – 3R (i. Sabalenka)

WTA Finals win-loss record: Sixth appearance, 10-6 record (2011 Istanbul champion)

Seeded 5 – Sloane Stephens

Image result for stephens beijing 2018

Highs of 2018 season: It was another Hyde and Jekyll year for Sloane Stephens though her standout results were more prominent than her inconsistencies. The Miami title once again showed how Stephens thrives playing at home, and runs to the finals in Roland Garros and Montreal were not too shabby at all, both ending in losses to Halep.

Lows of 2018 season: It really does feel like Stephens can only bring her game to the big tournaments – in International and Premier events, Stephens has amassed a dismal win-loss record of 3-7. Just like last year, Stephens has not been able to win too many matches in Asia, and her last match on tour in Moscow was a completely lacklustre display where she lost out to Ons Jabeur.

Win-loss record in 2018: 33-18

Titles in 2018: 1 (Miami)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 4-4

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – 1R (i. S.Zhang)
RG – Final (i. Halep)
Wimby – 1R (i. Vekic)
USO – QF (i. Sevastova)

WTA Finals win-loss record: First appearance

Seeded 6 – Elina Svitolina

Image result for svitolina beijing 2018

Highs of 2018 season: There have not been too many highs in Svitolina’s season to be honest – her best result was probably in Rome where she beat the likes of Daria Kasatkina, Kerber and No.1 Halep to win her second straight Rome title.

Lows of 2018 season: Since Roland Garros, Svitolina has not been able to find her level and that likely is due to the major weight loss scheme that Svitolina adopted. The Ukrainian has mentioned that she’s not physically in shape just yet, and it’s showing on court right now with early exits in Wuhan, Beijing and, Hong Kong. Svitolina has not been able to bring her best tennis to the Slams once again, with a quarterfinal run in Australia her best Slam result to date.

Win-loss record in 2018: 39-15

Titles in 2018: 3 (Brisbane, Dubai, Rome)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 4-3

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – QF (i. Mertens)
RG – 3R (i. Buzarnescu)
Wimby – 1R (i. Maria)
USO – 4R (i. Sevastova)

WTA Finals win-loss record: Second appearance, 1-2 record (2017 RR)

Seeded 7 – Karolina Pliskova

Image result for pliskova beijing 2018

Highs of 2018 season: Pliskova hasn’t had a standout result in 2018 but her best results definitely come on the clay, winning her tenth title in Stuttgart, and beating No.1 Halep enroute to the Madrid semifinals. A title in Tokyo is also a highlight of 2018, where she crushed the home audience’s hopes by beating US Open champion Osaka in the final.

Lows of 2018 season: There hasn’t been too many lows as Pliskova has managed to find week-in-week-out consistency in her game – that doesn’t mean she’s always able to produce her best tennis consistently. Pliskova has mostly been scrapping and battling through for majority of her matches this year. One low is just a few days ago in Moscow where she played a terrible match to lose 1-6 2-6 to Vera Zvonareva. Pliskova looked disinterested and lacklustre on court, which perhaps can be attributed to her tiring Asia schedule. Hopefully, Pliskova will be able to bring her goods to Singapore this week.

Win-loss record in 2018: 47-21

Titles in 2018: 2 (Stuttgart, Tokyo)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 4-4

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – QF (i. Halep)
RG – 3R (i. Sharapova)
Wimby – 4R (i. Bertens)
USO – QF (i. S.Williams)

WTA Finals win-loss record: Third appearance, 3-4 record (2017 SF)

Seeded 8 – Kiki Bertens

Image result for bertens beijing 2018

Highs of 2018 season: Other than Osaka, Kiki Bertens is definitely one of the names for most improved player of the year and while I’m gutted that Simona had to withdraw from the finals, I’m glad that Bertens is the recipient to come to Singapore! Bertens has always been known as the clay court specialist – that showed in a run to the finals in Madrid – but more impressively is how she managed to finally produce better results on the other surfaces. Bertens reached the quarterfinals in Wimbledon and won her first hard court WTA title in Cincinnati over No.1 Halep. Bertens also managed to claim another title in Seoul, which was the key factor in putting her in contention for the WTA Finals.

Lows of 2018 season: While not a huge low, a loss to Kerber in the French Open was perhaps a gut-wrenching one as she was touted as a dark horse for the title, and losing to a player with little clay court credentials would definitely be disappointing. This perhaps was a stepping stone to how Bertens was able to achieve bigger things in the second half of the season.

Win-loss record in 2018: 44-21

Titles in 2018: 3 (Charleston, Cincinnati, Seoul)

Record against top 10 players in 2018: 10-5

2018 Grand Slam results: AO – 3R (i. Wozniacki)
RG – 3R (i. Kerber)
Wimby – QF (i. Goerges)
USO – 3R (i. Vondrousova)

WTA Finals win-loss record: First appearance

Thanks for reading! Singapore predictions can be found at the top of the page or by clicking here!

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