Three WTA events this week are headed by the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. The tournament features five of the Top 10 including US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and a number of dangerous unseeded players, including a former No. 1 and a former Olympic gold medalist:
TORAY PAN PACIFIC OPEN
Tokyo, Japan: Surface: hard
Seeds: Garbine Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Madison Keys, Dominika Cibulkova, Petra Kvitova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Floaters: Anastasija Sevastova, CoCo Vandeweghe, Andrea Petkovic, Lucie Safarova, Belinda Bencic, Caroline Wozniacki, Monica Puig
Notes: Five of the Top 10, including US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova, and a slew of dangerous floaters make Tokyo the place to watch this week…The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…Tough starts for Muguruza after a bye, coming out cold possibly against the US Open quarterfinalist Sevastova; (8) Pavlyuchenkova vs. the veteran Petkovic (winner to possibly meet the giant-serving Vandeweghe); (6) Cibulkova vs. Safarova; and (4) Suarez Navarro cold after a bye meeting the winner of Bencic-Wozniacki…Wildcards were dealt wide to the American Keys, the Czech Kvitova, Japan’s Naomi Osaka, and Russian Olesya Pervushina…Pulling from the event were Simona Halep, Samantha Stosur, Sloane Stephens and Daria Gavrilova…Radwasnak beat Bencic in last year’s final…Radwanska looking to become the first back-to-back winner in Tokyo since Lindsay Davenport (2003-04)…Former champs in the field are Radwanska (2015,’11), Kvitova (2013), and Wozniacki (2010).
GUANGZHOU INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S OPEN
Guangzhou, China; Surface: hard
Seeds: Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Konjuh, Christina McHale, Alison Riske, Danka Kovinic, Katerina Siniakova, Zheng Saisai
Floaters: Sabine Lisicki
Notes: No Top 35 players among the seeds, but a former No. 1 and a Slam finalist…The all-Chinese wildcard deal went to Peng Shuai, Wang Yafan and Xu Shilin…Among the big-name withdrawals were Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia and Roberta Vinci…Jankovic is playing doubles with Martina Hingis, who last year captured the title with Sania Mirza…Li Na won this tournament in its debut in 2004…Jankovic is the defending champ, in last year’s final topping Denisa Allertova, who this year with a win in her opener could then face (1) Errani…Jankovic (2015) and Hsieh Su-wei (2012) are former champs in the field.
KOREA OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Seoul, Korea; Surface: hard
Seeds: Irina-Camelia Begu, Yaroslava Shvedova, Zhang Shuai, Kristina Mladenovic, Monica Niculescu, Kirsten Flipkens, Nicole Gibbs, Louisa Chirico
Floaters: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Camila Giorgi, Mona Barthel
Notes: No Top 20 players in the field…Tough starts for (3) Zhang second round vs. the Mattek-Sands/Stefanie Voegele winner, and (7) Gibbs vs. Barthel (winner likely to face Giorgi)…The all-Korean wildcard slate went to Han Na-lae, Jang Su-jeong and Lee So-ra…Your top doubles seeds are Japan’s Eri Hozumi and Georgia’s Oksana Kalashnikova…The top-seeded Begu is the defending champ, in last year’s final beating Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich…Begu is the lone former champ in the field…The tournament has seen better tournament slots and fields, with former champs (and former No. 1s) Caroline Wozniacki (2012), Venus Williams (2007), and Maria Sharpaova (2004).
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