Watch List: Final tournaments before the WTA Finals in Singapore
The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. With one week to go before the start of the WTA Finals in Singapore, the women make their final push towards the year-end finals in Moscow and Luxembourg, while the men begin a three week, six tournament European indoor circuit leading into the ATP World Tour Finals in mid-November.
BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open (Luxembourg)
Timea Bacsinszky, Ana Ivanovic and Sara Errani are the top three seeds in Luxembourg, with Hong Kong Open champion Jelena Jankovic, Heather Watson, Annika Beck, Sloane Stephens, Andrea Petkovic and Barbora Strycova also in the field. While Ivanovic cannot qualify for Singapore, she is competing for a spot in the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, a new tournament to the calendar featuring a 12-player singles field consisting of the players ranked between No. 9 and No. 20, along with one wildcard, with $2.5 million in prize money and 700 ranking points at stake. The tournament is set to begin Nov. 2, following the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Kremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow (Moscow, Russia)
After Agnieszka Radwanska qualified for the WTA Finals with her title at the Tianjin Open on Sunday, only three spots remain for the year-end championships in Singapore. U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta is the top seed in Moscow after Radwanska withdrew. No. 4 seed Angelique Kerber also withdrew on Monday, citing a non-acute back injury. Karolina Pliskova is also in the field and will need to make the final to keep herself in contention for Singapore.
On the men's side, Marin Cilic is the top seed followed by Roberto Bautista-Agut, Viktor Troicki and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who all received first-round byes. Pablo Cuevas, Borna Coric and Mikhail Kukushkin are also in the field. Six players have already qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals (Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych) and several players in the Race to London for the two remaining spots have points to defend in this week's tournaments, notably Cilic in Moscow.
If Stockholm Open (Stockholm, Sweden)
After qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday, two-time champion Tomas Berdych will head to Stockholm as the top seed in the tournament. He is joined by No. 2 Richard Gasquet, No. 3 Gilles Simon, No. 4 Bernard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov, Jeremy Chardy, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey and Gilles Muller. Jarkko Nieminen is playing in the final tournament of his career in Stockholm, as the 34-year-old will retire from tennis following the tournament. Young rising stars Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alexander Zverev are also in the draw, as well as American Denis Kudla.
Erste Bank Open 500 (Vienna, Austria)
All four of the top seeds at the Erste Bank Open, the new ATP 500-level tournament, are in contention for the remaining spots in the Race to London. David Ferrer, Kevin Anderson, John Isner and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are looking to qualify and receive first round byes as the leaders in the field. Dominic Thiem is also in the tournament searching for his fourth title of the 2015 season. In doubles, top teams Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau and Jamie Murray and John Peers are also in action.