WTA Finals: 6 players who could reach the semi-finals
- Simona Halep's withdrawal has taken away a bit of the glamour, but these 6 players could set the 2018 WTA Finals ablaze.
The 2018 WTA Finals marks the 5th and final edition of WTA's season-ending finale in Singapore. Come 2019, the tournament will shift to Shenzhen, China and stay there until 2028.
World number 1 Simona Halep's withdrawal due to a recurring back injury has certainly taken away a bit of the glamour, but the other 7 qualifiers and Kiki Bertens (Halep's alternative) are expected to go toe-to-toe for the title. The field isn't poor by any means, consisting of recent US Open champion Naomi Osaka, Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber to name a few.
The players have been divided into two groups of four - with the top two from each group advancing to the semifinals.
Red Group: Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens.
White Group: Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova.
Let's take a look at the six players who are best shaped to make the semifinals.
#1 - Naomi Osaka
The 21-year old debutante of Japanese-Haitian descent, who caused a storm in women's tennis by demolishing Serena Williams to win the US Open title, is a firm favorite to make the semifinals from the Red Group. Osaka's US Open win was followed by two strong weeks at the Pan Pacific Open and China Open with a final and a semifinal showing.
Although she has a losing H2H record against her group-mates, her recent form has been strong enough to potentially nullify that effect when they meet. She faced Bertens and Kvitova back in 2016, at the Mexican Open where she beat Bertens and then lost to Kvitova in the quarterfinals. Against Kerber, she has a 1-3 record, but their only 2018 match-up was in Wimbledon before Osaka found her mojo.
Riding on confidence and an exciting game, Osaka could very well prove to be the player to watch out for from her group.