WTA Finals 2021: All that you need to know
The group stage draw is out for the WTA Finals 2021 as eight top stars in women's singles tennis fight for the prestigious year-end trophy. Meanwhile, the top eight double teams will also be in action. The 50th edition of the tournament is being held in Guadalajara, Mexico. The draw was conducted at a private gala at the Palacio Municipal de Zapopa.
Why does it matter?
- This year, six of the eight players are set to feature in their maiden WTA Finals.
- All the eight players in the WTA Finals have had a good season so far.
- The WTA Finals will not see World No 1 Ashleigh Barty defending her title.
- Barty decided to withdraw to focus on the Australian Open instead.
- Japanese star Naomi Osaka has also opted out.
Here are the two groups
The likes of Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari, Iga Swiatek, and Paula Badosa are set to feature in Group Chichen Itza. On the other hand, Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza, and Anett Kontaveit will be featuring in Group Teotihuacan.
Pliskova touted as the favorite in Group Teotihuacan
Number three seed Pliskova is the favorite in Group Teotihuacan. She is the most experienced player and has qualified for five straight years. She has also made the semis in the last three events. Pliskova has an 8-2 head-to-head record against Muguruza. She also leads Krejcikova (2-0) and Kontaveit (3-0) in the H2H meetings.
Sabalenka and Badosa can stamp their authority
Number one seed Sabalenka will hope to make her presence felt in Group Chichen Itza. The 23-year-old has bagged two titles in 2021 and has a 44-16 win-loss record. The world number two has what it takes to march ahead. Meanwhile, Spain's Badosa clinched her maiden WTA 1000 title last month. She could be in for a tough fight.
Key numbers ahead of the WTA Finals
As per WTA, the top seed has won the title 23 times, including the 2019 event when Ashleigh Barty prevailed over Elina Svitolina. On eight occasions a player won the round-robin stage 3-0 before going on to lift the trophy. Svitolina was the last to do so in 2018. Swiatek is the youngest player in this year's singles competition.