How to watch and everything you need to know

After a thrilling season packed with captivating storylines, the top players on the tennis tour will gather at the WTA Finals this week, vying for the coveted year-end No. 1 ranking and a staggering $9 million prize pool.

With each Grand Slam champion being a different player this year, there is no clear favorite for the WTA Finals, signaling a lack of complete dominance in women’s tennis. Instead, each player enters the competition with intriguing questions surrounding them: Can Aryna Sabalenka solidify her status as the best player of the year? Can Iga Świątek regain her invincible aura? Can Coco Gauff continue her impressive form?

An interesting fact about this year’s tournament is that there will be a new winner, as none of the eight qualified players have previously claimed the title. Additionally, the race for the year-end world No. 1 ranking adds an extra layer of excitement to the event.

Sabalenka, who reached at least the semifinals in every Grand Slam and won the Australian Open, currently holds the world No. 1 spot. Securing two victories in the group stage would secure her the year-end ranking. However, if she falters and Iga Świątek reaches the final, the Polish sensation has a chance to reclaim the position she held for 75 weeks.

How to watch

The tournament begins on October 29 and lasts for a week, culminating in the final on November 5.

Tennis enthusiasts in the USA can catch the action on the Tennis Channel, while viewers in the UK and Ireland can tune in on Amazon Prime Video. A comprehensive list of broadcasters for other countries is available here.

Who is competing?

Leading the pack is Sabalenka, the world No. 1, who will be joined by Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová, US Open champion Coco Gauff, French Open champion Świątek, Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur, Elena Rybakina, and US star Jessica Pegula.

Swiatek has never won the WTA Finals. - Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images

Swiatek has never won the WTA Finals. – Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images

Czech Republic’s Karolína Muchová had to withdraw from the competition due to injury, and Greece’s Maria Sakkari has stepped in as her replacement.

The eight players are divided into two groups of four, with the top two from each group advancing to the semifinals.

In one group, Sabalenka, Rybakina, Pegula, and Sakkari will compete against each other, while in the other group, Swiatek, Gauff, Jabeur, and Vondrousova will face off.

There are intriguing match-ups within each group. Sabalenka and Rybakina faced each other in the Australian Open earlier this year, with Sabalenka emerging victorious. However, Rybakina got her revenge in the Indian Wells final. In the other group, Gauff and Swiatek will square off for the 10th time in their relatively young careers.

“I’m entering the tournament with a lot of confidence,” said Gauff, according to the WTA. Fresh off her first Grand Slam triumph at the US Open, she added, “Last year, I didn’t perform well, so things can only go up from here.”

Coco Gauff has only lost two matches since August. - Emmanuel Wong/Getty ImagesCoco Gauff has only lost two matches since August. - Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images

Coco Gauff has only lost two matches since August. – Emmanuel Wong/Getty Images

Where will it be held?

This year’s tournament will take place in Cancun, Mexico, marking the second time the country hosts the event after Guadalajara in 2021.

What about the doubles?

Eight pairs have qualified for the doubles tournament, with the US duo of Gauff and Pegula earning the top seed. Defending champion Elise Mertens, partnering with Storm Hunter instead of her previous partner Veronika Kudermetova, tops the other group.

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