The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. This week, all eyes are on the WTA Finals in Singapore for the women, and for the men, the action is in Basel, Switzerland, for the Swiss Indoors and Valencia, Spain, for the Valencia Open 500.
The season-ending championship is already underway in Singapore, as Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard and Simona Halep kicked off play on Monday. Read our full preview here. Here are the most-anticipated round robin matches we're looking forward to:
- Serena vs. Ivanovic
- Serena vs. Bouchard
- Serena vs. Halep
- Bouchard vs. Halep
- Sharapova vs. Wozniacki
- Sharapova vs. Kvitova
- Kvitova vs. Wozniacki
The chase for No. 1 is on as Roger Federer leads the field in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland. Federer is less than 1,000 points behind No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Race to London rankings, which measure a player's rankings points earned in the current calendar year. A five-time champion, Federer has reached the final or better the last eight years in Basel, and a win this week would help him close the gap on Djokovic, who is not playing this week. Federer is 21-2 since turning 33 in August and is coming off his first ATP Masters 1000 title of the year at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal is also in the field, returning to Basel for the first time in 10 years. Nadal's status for the remainder of the season has been under scrutiny after he was diagnosed with appendicitis at the Shanghai Masters two weeks ago, where he lost his opening match to Feliciano Lopez. Nadal is trying to put off surgery until after the season, though there are conflicting reports as to whether he plans to play the ATP World Tour Finals in November. Nadal's team released a statement last week denying reports in the Spanish media that he had already decided to skip the season-ending tournament. According to his public relations manager, Nadal intends to play Basel and then make a decision on the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy and the World Tour Finals.
Also in the draw are Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimtrov and Ernests Gulbis. Having taken a string of early losses over the last few weeks, Raonic in particular needs a good result in Basel to bolster his chances of qualifying for London.
Valencia Open 500
Andy Murray helped his London chances by winning his second title in four weeks at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria, over the weekend. The title moved him from No. 10 to No. 8 in the Race to London, ahead of David Ferrer, Raonic and Dimitrov. Ferrer, the man he beat in the Vienna final, is the top seed in Valencia. Also in the field are Stockholm champion and No. 2 seed Tomas Berdych, No. 4 seed Feliciano Lopez and No. 5 seed John Isner. Also of note in Valencia: 16-year-old Stefan Kozlov will make his ATP main draw debut against Martin Klizan in the first round.