The top eight are on route to Shenzhen but who will end up as champion?

The final eight are on route to the season finale in Shenzhen.

Led by the world number one Ash Barty the top eight in women’s tennis will fight for the title only one of them has ever won before.

That one? Elina Svitolina.

So, who will walk away with the title?

Ash Barty

Ash has found some form again at the right time. She looked sharp in Wuhan and Beijing and the indoor courts do suit her game.

Ash’ world number one ranking is on the line and this will be her debut at the tour finals.

Can she win it? I think so, she has the grit and unpredictability in her game to ground out results which others struggle with.

Karolina Pliskova

First six months of the year were great for Karolina.

Since then, it’s gone a bit adrift. 

She stormed her way to the Eastbourne title and since then it hasn’t happened for her. 

She recently won the 125k event in Zhengzhou but it’s been a funny bunch of results since Wimbledon.

Performances have been messy in the last few weeks in defeats to Konta, Yastremska and Ostapenko and will head to Shenzhen with one singles win in 6 weeks.

She has added a lot of doubles lately to her schedule in Wuhan, Beijing and Korea with her sister Kristyna. In Korea she didn’t play singles at all.

I can’t see a challenge happening here right now for Pliskova unless she finds some form.

Simona Halep

Unpredictable at the best.

We know what tennis Simona Halep can produce on the big stage and an indoor slow hard court will suit her.

Her season highlight was of course winning Wimbledon but missing is that consistency week in week out. 

If she could bottle it up and reuse it she would be a force to reckon with.

Shenzhen contender? Most definitely!

Naomi Osaka

Favourite? Yes.

Finding form at the right time is exactly what Naomi has done finishing her season with back to back titles in Osaka and Beijing.

Level of performance was outstanding in a fortnight that saw her defeat Andreescu and Barty from a set down with an incredible fight!

Naomi recently split from her coach Jermaine Jenkins  and is working with just her dad on her team and just seems happier and her results have been fantastic.

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Petra Kvitova

Since that injury in Rome which saw her miss about 6 weeks of tennis finding consistency has been a problem.

Petra’s place in Shenzhen was really never in doubt after Wimbledon where she made the fourth round and I just don’t know if she is ready.

The former Wimbledon champion has won some good battle but also lost some key ones. Errors snuck in too easily against Barty in Beijing and I was surprised she didn’t go to Moscow or Luxembourg to finish her year.

Under usual circumstances I would say contender but right now I can’t see it.

Bianca Andreescu

Don’t write Bianca off. 8 wins a 1 defeat against the top 10 this year.

Bianca is the one you want to avoid in the draw and that’s a great thing to have against you.

Her tennis is brave, explosive and full of belief. I like her game, she goes big from the baseline and trusts what she is doing which is a big part of her success.

I wouldn’t rule out Bianca walking away as champion here!

Elina Svitolina

Defending champion with a point to prove?

I think so, it would be a shame if a break through year the majors ended with her falling early.

Her year has been a struggle. It would be what I would call ‘good to a point’ and that point is struggling against the best which we have seen and you can read more of below..

Elina Svitolina may have had her greatest Grand Slam runs of late but it’s eluded to some issues in her game!

Contender? I don’t see it happening. 

Belinda Bencic

Last gasp qualifier. It went down to the wire in Moscow where she had to make the semi-finals with Bertens exit early on.

A thoroughly deserved spot in Shenzhen. No one has more top 10 wins this year than Belinda Bencic (9) so isn’t there at all to make up the numbers.

I see her causing problems. She has had an incredible year on tour and I have a feeling she has plenty more left to say. 

Prediction? Something for me is swinging towards Naomi Osaka but I honestly have Belinda Bencic doing well here and what a story it would be to win here.

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