Preview: BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore 2015
The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, presented by SC Global was instituted in 1972, and has been staged in several renowned cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Munich, Madrid, Doha and Istanbul. The tournament, which has a large presence in Asia, will see the season finale held in Singapore through to 2018. It was first held in the city last year.
The tournament has seen several legends of the sport win the trophy on multiple occasions, but no one has managed to equal Martina Navratilova’s record of eight titles at the event. Amongst currently active players, World No. 1 Serena Williams would have had the highest chance of beating the Russian legend’s record considering the fact that she has won the tournament on five different occasions.
Navratilova also holds the record for most double titles in the tournament a whopping 11 times, with 10 of these coming alongside Pam Shriver.
The competition takes place in a round robin format consisting of two groups made up of four players/teams each. The top 8 singles players and top 8 doubles teams of the season take part in the tournament, at the end of which the winner is awarded a $7 million grand prize.
Here is a comprehensive list of the players participating in the tournament
|1||Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza|
|2||Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova|
|3||Casey Dellacqua and Yaroslava Shvedova|
|4||Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova|
|5||Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos|
|6||Yung-Jan Chan and Hao-Ching Chan|
|7||Katarina Srebotnik and Caroline Garcia|
|8||Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spear|
World’s No. 1 Doubles player Sania Mirza and former partner Cara Black of Zimbabwe are the current holders of the doubles title, while Serena Williams holds the title for the singles tournament. Due to Williams’ absence, US Open winner Flavia Pennetta managed to scrape her way into the tournament. The Italian, who defeated long time doubles partner Roberta Vinci in the finals took the eight spot.
Maria Sharapova, who has been plagued with injuries this season, will have a fierce competition early on in the competition as she will face World No. 2 Simona Halep, as the Russian and Romanian are placed in the same group.
Both the players though will be looking to get back in form as Halep was coming into the series after an embarrassing defeat to 86th ranked Lara Arruabarrena at the Beijing Open, and Sharapova, who took a break from several tournaments after the Wimbledon, will be looking to use this tournament as a stepping stone to help her regain her position at the top.
Williams’ position as No.1 however, will not be affected by the results of the tournament, as she has a significant lead over her nearest competitor.