The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Victoria Azarenka are back in action this week at the Tokyo Open, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looks to keep his momentum going on home soil in France.
A week after making her second Slam final at the U.S. Open, Caroline Wozniacki is back in action in at the Tokyo Open, a Premier-level event. Angelique Kerber is the top seed, with Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, and Jelena Jankovic rounding out the top four. The toughest section of the draw includes Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka, Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic. The most intriguing first round match involves Azarenka, who plays 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm. The winner will play Ivanovic. Keys opens against Lucie Safarova and Bencic plays Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Azarenka, down to No. 25 in the rankings, has an opportunity to make a charge up the rankings this fall. She won just one match after the U.S. Open last year. Ivanovic, Wozniacki and Kerber are all in a tight race to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore. A good result here will boost their chances.
Davis Cup hero and two-time champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leads the field in Metz, France. The ATP 250 tournament also boasts Gael Monfils as the No. 2 seed. The big question is how much this weekend's Davis Cup duties will affect the field. No. 11 Tsonga, who is 13-2 in Metz, played both singles and doubles over the weekend and David Goffin, Lukas Rosol, and Sergiy Stakhovsky also played for their respective countries in Davis Cup matches.
The one to keep an eye on is No. 41 Jerzy Janowicz. The seventh seed seems to have snapped out of his near-yearlong funk and has been playing much better tennis over the last month, just in time for the indoor season.
No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska returns to Seoul, Korea to defend her title. She's the only Top 30 player in the field. No. 32 Karolina Pliskova, who made the Hong Kong final over the weekend, is the No. 2 seed. No excuses for Radwanska here. This is her title to lose.
Sam Stosur is the sole Top 20 representative in Guangzhou, an International-level tournament. She's the top seed with Alize Cornet, Sloane Stephens and Bojana Jovanovski as the top four seeds. This is a good opportunity for Stephens, seeded No. 3, to get a string of wins under her belt against a weak field. She opens against Silvia Soler-Espinosa and could play Cornet in the semifinals.