Al Sakkari is among those looking to bridge the gap in the race to reach the WTA Finals

Currently, this is It became fun.

With only three weeks left in the regular season, the race for the WTA Finals is heating up. This week’s Agel Open 2022 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and Monastir, Tunisia, should bring some clarity – or maybe not.

Ostrava draw: Swiatek back in play, Raducanu faces Kasatkina in opener

World number one Iga Swiatek, top seed in Ostrava, has already qualified for the year-end championships in Fort Worth, Texas, along with No.2 Ons Jabeur. And while those next in line — Jesica Pegula, Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia and Arina Sabalenka — are on solid ground, things right below are smooth.

Daria Kasatkina, seeded No. 5 in Ostrava, sits seventh for the elite field of eight. Technically Simona Halep is eighth, but has already ruled herself out for the rest of the season.

This week’s results

Veronika Kudermetova has had strong results recently and could gain ground in Tunisia.

The way things are shaping up, it’s going to be an exciting journey to that coveted final position – and the chance for all the prize money and rating points it brings.

Here is a look at the competing players:

No. 9 Maria Scary: Reached the final in Parma – played the last two matches in one day – added 179 points and jumped Veronika Kudretova. Scary lost to Mayar Sharif in successive groups. Scari is the No. 4 seed in Ostrava, with a first-round bye, and will face the winner between Karolina Pliskova and a second-round qualifier.

No. 10 Veronika Kudretova: She reached the semi-finals two weeks ago in Tokyo and is the second seed behind Jaber at the Yasmine Open Monastir in Tunisia. She is also scheduled to play in next week’s San Diego Open, one of the WTA 500 tournaments.

No. 11 Belinda BencicHe jumped two places by reaching the semi-finals at the Tallinn Open in Estonia. Ranked #6 in Ostrava, she is one of the top 20 players she wasn’t due to play in San Diego.

WTA Finals Top 8

current arrangement

  1. Iga Swiatek
  2. Anas Jaber
  3. Jessica Pegula (3,232)
  4. Coco Gauff (2,983)
  5. Caroline Garcia (2,896)
  6. Arina Sabalenka (2871)
  7. Daria Kasatkina (2,831)
  8. Simona Halep (2661) (Out of season)

bold = qualified

No. 12 Paula Padusa: Padusa, seeded No. 2 in Ostrava, lost her first match in Tokyo and is looking to create some momentum.

No. 13 Madison Keys: She lost her first match in Tallinn but is on the field in Ostrava and San Diego.

No. 14 Annette Kontaveit: Along with Scary, she was the big winner last week, advancing three places by reaching the final in Tallinn, collecting 181 points. She fell there to Barbora Krezhkova 6-2, 6-3.

No. 15 Beatrice Haddad is with me: I reached the quarter-finals in Tallinn and got 35 points. She is seeded No. 7 in Ostrava and is also scheduled to compete in San Diego.

Another player to watch is Lyudmila Samsonova, who moved into the top 20 in the race after winning Tokyo. You will play both San Diego and Guadalajara.

The back end of the 2022 Agel Open could have a huge impact on who ultimately gets a ticket to Fort Worth. If the seeds hold up, the loaded quarter-finals will look like this: Swiatek-Haddad Maia, Kontaveit-Kasatkina, Bencic-Sakkari, Badosa-Jelena Ostapenko.

Then there’s San Diego, which has the same points on the streak and has seven top-10 players and 16 top-20 players. The following week, it was finally settled in the Guadalajara Open Akron, the Hologic WTA 1000 event.

In the doubles, Gabriela Dabrowski and Juliana Olmos were joined by Krizhikova and Katerina Sinyakova, who qualified by winning the title in Tokyo. No.3 Ostapenko, Lyudmyla Kichenok, No.4 Elise Mertens, Kudermetova, No.5 Pegula and Gauff are all in good standing. On the bubble: No. 9 Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic and No. 10 Haddad Maya and Anna Danielina.

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