The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. After the final Slam of the season at the U.S. Open, the ATP and WTA tours head into the final weeks of tournaments before the year-end finals in London and Singapore. Five of the Top 10 women are in action in Guangzhou, China, Seoul, Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, while Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych lead the top men at the St. Petersburg Open and the Moselle Open.
Guangzhou International Women's Open (Guangzhou, China)
After losing in the U.S. Open semifinals to Flavia Pennetta, Simona Halep returned home to Bucharest, Romania, for some rest and recovery and returns to action in Guangzhou, China, this week. Halep aims for her fourth title of the season as the No. 1 seed at the WTA International-level event and is joined by Andera Petkovic, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic. Also in action are Svetlana Kuznetsova, Monica Niculescu and Danka Kovinic. Petkovic will open against Monica Puig, Jankovic plays Elena Vesnina and Halep will start off against a qualifier.
Korea Open (Seoul, Korea)
Irina-Camelia Begu, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Sloane Stephens lead the field in Seoul. Schmiedlova and Stephens could meet in a potential semifinal; Schmiedlova won her first titles in Katowice and Bucharest earlier in the season and Stephens captured her maiden title at the Citi Open in August. Also in action are Varvara Lepchenko, Heather Watson, Ajla Tomljanovic, Christina McHale, Yaroslava Shvedova, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Mona Barthel.
Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo, Japan)
Top seeds and defending finalists Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic headline the field in Tokyo. Ivanovic, who just dropped down to No. 12 in the rankings on Monday, will open up against Camila Giorgi, who topped Caroline Garcia in three sets on Monday. World No. 6 Wozniacki will open against Ana Konjuh or U.S. Open quarterfinalist Kristina Mladenovic. Rounding out the top five seeds are Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber. On Monday, Agnieszka Radwanska topped CoCo Vandeweghe to advance to the second round in Tokyo and Barbora Strycova defeated wildcard Naomi Osaka. Kerber will open up against Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur plays Alison Riske in the first round, Belinda Bencic opens against qualifier Yi-Fan Xu and Carla Suarez Navarro will play Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round.
St. Petersburg Open (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Top seed and World No. 5 Tomas Berdych is seeking his first title of the season this week in St. Petersburg, which returns to the ATP calendar after a one-year hiatus. He's joined by World No. 9 Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem, who has three titles this season, 17-year-old Andrey Rublev, Roberto Bautista Agut, Tommy Robredo and Benoit Paire, who made it to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Open. The first four seeds get first round byes in the 28-player draw and both Berdych and Raonic are looking to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
Moselle Open (Metz, France)
After a busy weekend of Davis Cup play, World No. 4 and U.S. Open semifinalist Stan Wawrinka leads the field in Metz this week, after qualifying for the World Tour Finals in New York. He'll open against either Dustin Brown or Rajeev Ram and is joined by No. 2 seed Gilles Simon, No. 3 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 4 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and No. 5 seed and wildcard Philipp Kohlschreiber. U.S. Open doubles champions and all-French team Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut also return to action in singles in their home country this week.