It is a difficult one to determine if one group is stronger than the other when it comes to a season-ending championship and the final eight players are split into two groups. On the face of it both groups should be pretty much equal, after all these are the eight best players in the world. But it seems the way the draw worked out for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore this week, it is a case of one group being a bit weaker than the other.
In the Red Group is Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Eugenie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic – both Halep and Bouchard are making their debuts in a tournament such as this, then in the White Group its Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Aga Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki; all seasoned in an event like this.
By the way the groups have been named Red and White because those are the colours of the Singapore flag.
The women play every other player in their respective group and the top two finishers will advance to the elimination semis. The No.1 player from the Red Group will play the No.2 from the White Group and the No.2 from the Red Group will play No.1 from the White Group.
So now that the draw is done the powers that be here at We Are Tennis threw out a challenge to me. They said they wanted to see how smart or good I was so I have to pick a winner of every match and come up with the ultimate winner. Goodness, gracious, talk about pressure. I don’t have to worry about the score just the winners. So here goes:
Serena Williams to defeat Simona Halep, Eugenie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic
Halep to defeat Bouchard and Ivanovic but loses to Williams
Ivanovic to defeat Bouchard but loses to Halep and Williams
Bouchard does not get a win
So Williams gets No.1 and Halep No.2
Maria Sharapova to defeat Aga Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki but loses to Kvitova
Petra Kvitova to defeat Sharapova and Radwanska but loses to Wozniacki
Radwanska to defeat Wozniacki but loses to Sharapova and Kvitova
Wozniacki to defeat Kvitova but loses to Sharapova and Radwanska
So Sharapova gets No1 and Kvitova gets No.2
Kvitova defeats Williams
Sharapova defeats Halep
Kvitova defeats Sharapova
The bosses at We Are Tennis have not told me what I stand to win if I am successful for the majority. Maybe I could suggest a pay rise.
What is also on the line with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals is the year-end world No.1 ranking and that is a battle between Williams and Sharapova. There are a number of different possibilities on what has to be done for either one to get it.
For Sharapova, who has never been a year-end No.1, to have a chance to get No.1, she needs to reach at least the semis with a 2-1 RR record. BUT if Williams progresses through the event that will change:
a) If Williams is 1-2 in RR, then Sharapova must reach the final with a 2-1 RR record or win the title to have a chance
b) If Williams is 2-1 in RR, then Sharapova needs to reach the final with a 3-0 RR record or win the title to have a chance
c) If Williams is 3-0 in RR, the Sharapova needs to at least win the title and Williams cannot reach the final to have a chance
Now, Williams can secure the year-end No.1:
a) By reaching the final with a 3-0 RR record
b) By reaching the final with a 2-1 RR record if Sharapova drops a single RR match
So there you have it.
OH, PS … if I had to pick a top four from the official picture, I’d go with Serena, Caro, Petra and Ana in that order.