Bianca Andreescu now knows who she’ll face in the opening rounds of the WTA Finals Shenzen, which get underway on Sunday.
Competing in her very first WTA Finals, the young Canadian will be part of the Purple Group and clash with Karolina Pliskova (2), Simona Halep (5) and Elina Svitolina (8). Needless to say, Andreescu faces formidable opponents.
Pliskova has reached the last four of the past two WTA Finals, Halep was a finalist in 2014 and Svitolina is the defending champion. Still, currently ranked No.4 in the world, Andreescu will remain undaunted having already battled and defeated two players in the group.
In August, she overpowered Pliskova in a tight quarter-final showdown at Rogers Cup in Toronto that had fans on the edge of their seats until the very last point (6-0, 2-6, 6-4).
A few months earlier in Indian Wells, Andreescu thrilled the crowd with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win over Svitolina that secured her ticket to her first career WTA final. Facing Kerber in the definitive contest, she claimed the first of three trophies she’s raised this year.
Bianca and her childhood idol Simona Halep have yet to go head-to-head and their match in Shenzhen is one not to miss
The top two players in each group will then grapple in the semis. In the Red Group are Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic.
Another Canadian, Gaby Dabrowski, and her partner Xu Yifan will jockey for the top position in the Purple Group in the doubles event. This year marks Dabrowski’s third consecutive appearance in the WTA Finals.
Dabrowski and Xu are in the same group as Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei, Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur as well as Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova
This season, the pair lost twice to Hiseh and Strycova but outmaneuvered Kejcikova and Siniakova twice. They have never played against Stosur and Zheng.
The Red Group includes Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chen as well as Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs
(Feature photo: WTA)