What's at Stake: The races to the year-end finals aren't over yet

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WATCH–The WTA race to Singapore:

 

With the men having just completed a Masters 1000 event in Shanghai, and the women about to begin the WTA Finals in Singapore, this might feel like an in-between week. Tennis being tennis, of course, an in-between week can actually involve more, rather then fewer, events; between the ATP and WTA, there are five on the docket starting Monday. Here’s a preview of what to watch for, and what might still be at stake, at each of them. The races to qualify for the tours’ year-end championships aren’t quite over yet.

VTB Kremlin Cup (WTA)

Moscow

$867,776; Premier

Indoor hard court

Draw is here

For a tournament that’s happening the week before the WTA Finals, the Kremlin Cup has drawn an elite crowd. It includes world No. 1 Simona Halep, and three other members of the Top 10, Karolina Pliskova, Sloane Stephens and Kiki Bertens. The rest of the field isn’t chopped liver, either: Anastasija Sevastova, Daria Kasatkina, Anett Kontaveit and Elise Mertens round out an entertaining 28-player draw.

WATCH—Simona Halep clinches year-end No. 1 ranking:

Along with the quality, there’s a sliver of drama left to unfold in Moscow. At the moment, Pliskova and Elina Svitolina hold the final two positions in Singapore, but a strong showing by Bertens in Moscow could catapult her past them. Bertens will face either Mihaela Buzarnescu or Aliaksandra Sasnovich to start, while Pliskova will open against a qualifier.

And then there’s Halep. The tour’s top player suffered a back injury that basically ended her Asian swing before it began. She’ll do what she can this week to find a little momentum before trying to cap her best season with her first title in Singapore.


Intrum Stockholm Open (ATP)

Stockholm, Sweden

$850,000; 250 ranking points

Indoor hard court

Draw is here

No one in tennis was happy to hear that Juan Martin del Potro fractured his right patella bone while falling to the court in Shanghai last week. But if there’s a player who could benefit from that unfortunate accident, it’s John Isner. Before Sunday, the top seed in Stockholm was a long-shot to qualify for the ATP’s year-end championships in London. Now that Del Potro, who was in the No. 3 position in the race, is in doubt, Isner will begin this week 70 points behind Kei Nishikori for the eighth and final spot. The American starts against either Bradley Klahn or Marius Copil in Stockholm.

Also here: Fabio Fognini, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Hyeon Chung, Denis Shapovalov, Lucas Pouille, Alex de Minaur, and Isner’s countrymen Jack Sock and Taylor Fritz.

WATCH— Juan Martin del Potro falls in Shanghai: 


European Open (ATP)

Antwerp, Belgium

$850,000; 250 ranking points

Indoor hard court

Draw is here

When Belgium’s David Goffin was forced to end his season early due to injury, Antwerp lost a potential home-crowd draw. As it is, the relatively new addition to the calendar—it began in 2016—will have to make do with Kyle Edmund as its top seed.

Also here: Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is returning after a long injury layoff; 2016 champion Richard Gasquet; two-time runner-up Diego Schwartzman; and No. 3 seed Milos Raonic.


BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open (WTA)

Luxembourg

$300,000; WTA International

Indoor hard court

Draw is here

Julia Goerges is the top seed in Luxembourg, followed by Garbine Muguruza, who has taken a wild card into the final regular-season event of 2018. But No. 4 seed Camila Giorgi, who won a title last week in Linz and has had a career season, who may be in the best form here.

WATCH—WTA announces player of the year nominations: 


VTB Kremlin Cup (ATP)

Moscow

$936,435; 250 ranking points

Indoor hard court

Draw is here

Making a Grand Slam semifinal has its benefits, and Marco Cecchinato, surprise semifinalist at Roland Garros, is still reaping them. Despite winning just two matches since July, he’s the top seed in Moscow. Just behind him are two local favorites, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov.

First-round match to watch: Nick Kyrgios vs. Andrey Rublev


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