WTA Zhuhai: Yay or Nay?

Venus

The WTA Finals in Singapore is the focus for this week but there is a new tournament coming next week, the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. This replaces the Tournament of Champions event that had run between 2009 and 2014 in Bali and Sofia. The full line-up for Zhuhai was announced today by the WTA and it’s an awesome line-up of players… Venus Williams, Carla Suárez Navarro, Karolina Pliskova, Roberta Vinci, Caroline Wozniacki, Sara Errani, Madison Keys, Elina Svitolina, Jelena Jankovic, Andrea Petkovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Saisai Zheng (WC) are the confirmed names.

I really don’t know how to feel about this Zhuhai tournament. Compared to Sofia, I like that it’s the next batch of players following the top eight and you can’t argue with this line-up. The tournament will consist of a four-group round-robin format with the four winners progressing to the semi-finals (see full WTA article HERE). Pictures of the venue can be found HERE. Personally, it just seems odd and anticlimactic to have this event after Singapore as it feels like a perfect warm-up to the WTA Finals. It’s going to be a pain to follow as all the Asian tournaments are for me but with this line-up, i’m sure i’ll end up watching some of the action and possibly blogging too!

How do you feel about Zhuhai and will you be watching?!

14 thoughts on “WTA Zhuhai: Yay or Nay?

  1. Yeah I agree that it’d have been better had they swapped the dates for the YEC and this event… I have to say though that I’m sort of looking forward to this more than Singapore, since I enjoy watching several of these players more than the ones who made the top eight. I’m disappointed that Bencic and Ivanovic are not appearing, but it’s a good idea that they both take some time to reboot and refocus their games. Ana especially really needs to work on parts of her game if she wants to have a successful 2016.
    But I’m very interested to see who will fare well here. Kuznetsova is on a bit of a string of playing really first class tennis. And she likes Asian courts, they really suit her game (plus she has plenty of supporters there). So I’m backing her to hopefully do well. Or Jankovic. But really any of them could make a good run.

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    • I’d read Ivanovic wasn’t playing and not surprised about Azarenka. In a way, I’m pleased Bencic isn’t playing so she can have a long off-season and prepare for 2016 where I’m anticipating big things. I agree though that it could be a lot of fun with the players involved. I think Jankovic will do well.

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      • I agree about Belinda Bencic. She has very few points to defend in the first half of next year which means that a few good tournament runs will catapult her into the top ten pretty quickly. If she can continue developing at this rate then I think she could well win a Slam next year.

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      • I don’t want to hype up Bencic too much because she is still very young but I agree with all your points, Andrew. If she starts 2016 well then she will be in the top ten very soon.

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    • I had my reservations when this tournament first started. It felt like some boutique show. On hindsight though, I feel they missed a good opportunity to experiment and bring the tennis more to the fans. Something akin to whats going on in other sports like the T-20 in cricket. An exciting explosive tournament for the top players. Being somewhat of an outlier, it begs for something radical. The good thing is , the depth of the field keeps getting better year on year. As to whether it could rival YEC, I think not. I believe with the right format/incentives, it could be the tennis gift for the holiday season to fans and Yay I guess.

      I feel Azarenka may find this tournament beneath her ‘high’ standards. Time has runout for Ana(physically), I think it’s with the mental that she has a chance. I’m just bitter cause she’s disappointed so much. There are several women in the Top 50 who should get invites, especially those who are one tournament specialists but too inconsistent for a full season. Why don’t they let the fans pick some of the entries( albeit, still based on some WTA stats, LOL, not simply like-ability or some ubiquitous sex appeal).

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  2. Stacy Allaster did a good job with the WTA, especially with marketing for the women. I hope the new person in charge also looks inside and the way the season is structured, especially pacing of tournaments, and accounting for player fatigue(newbies and veterans) with regards to value for money for spectators. Maybe, something like a new new open era. YEC, should be the 5th Slam if not the Holy Grail. The top players must really want to be there. There should be another Slam in S. America or Africa , that gap between the Aussie and French is too long, and Grass court season is too petite.

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  3. For me it’s a nay. I preferred the days when the WTA Finals (then called the WTA Championships) REALLY marked the end of the season. Like this it’s just awkward and an anticlimax, like you said.

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  4. I have to agree with what some of the other posters said about the ‘timing’ of this tournament,it should be held before the YEC.In saying that,I have to agree with Andrew there are some players I like watching,it is a good line up of players.

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