No Serena Williams. No Maria Sharapova.
Seven players who, by the end of the tournament, could be world No. 1 this week at the WTA Finals.
The No. 1 spot on the WTA rankings has been juggled between a number of players this year between Serena’s absence due to pregnancy and Maria’s absence due to all kinds of subterfuge that resulted in her getting busted for doping.
Next year will likely return to dominance by Serena, Maria or both. But this week we’re stuck with the also-rans vying for both a coveted year-end championship and a year-end No. 1 ranking. It’s being spun as the next generation taking over, but due to pregnancy, doping and injuries, it’s some youngsters getting a shot because the best players are sidelined.
World No. 1 Simona Halep leads the Red Group in Singapore which also contains debutante Elina Svitolina, former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and debutante Caroline Garcia.
Garbine Muguruza heads the White Group, which also contains this year’s former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, former No. 1 Venus Williams and debutante Jelena Ostapenko.
On Sunday the tournament will kick off with Pliskova vs. Williams, followed by Muguruza vs. Ostapenko.
None of the last three champions — Dominika Cibulkova (2016), Aggie Radwanska (2015), or Serena Williams (2014) — are in attendance. Enjoy.
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