The BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the best eight women of world tennis in 2011, so let’s examine who stands a chance of leaving Istanbul with the trophy.
The line-up of the two round-robin groups have been unveiled and world number one Caroline Wozniacki leads the red pool, joined by Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonareva and Agnieszka Radwanska.
It is the Dane’s third appearance at the competition and Zvonareva has played four times, while it is a maiden WTA Championships for the other two in the group. Radwanska looks out of her depth and Kvitova has struggled since that Wimbledon win, so Wozniacki and Zvonareva look likely to lead the group. Those looking at the Grand Slam betting
should remember this.
In the white group Maria Sharapova faces Victoria Azarenka, French Open champion Li Na and US Open winner Samantha Stosur in what looks a much tougher group on paper. The Russian star has won two tournaments and is a veteran of the tournament compared to her rivals. The tennis betting
The white group looks far tougher to predict than the red pool but Sharapova is likely to get through, while it will be between Na and Stosur to take second.
Sharapova said about the draw: "I think we all know what to expect going into the groups. It's the Top 8 girls of the year.
"You're going to get a tough group either way and tough opponents. It's just a matter of being ready from the first match on."
The ability of Wozniacki has been questioned by pundits throughout 2011 as another year has gone by without her winning a Grand Slam. This tournament gives her the last chance to prove a point and she looks the strongest star in the BNP Paribas WTA Championships.