French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova and Estonian Anett Kontaveit will open proceedings at the 50th year-end WTA Finals in Mexico later today with a wide open field of contestants, all able on their day to beat the other.
The relocated event in Guadalajara will see an eight-woman round-robin field featuring eight of the top 10 players.
Kontaveit, who has won her last 10 matches and has won four titles since June, is considered a favourite to win the Teotihuacan group.
The evening session will see Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza squaring off – the two are the only players of the eight to have played the event before.
The high high altitude may also have a bearing on the outcome of this year’s event.
“You feel a bit heavier breathing,” Pliskova said. “The balls are bouncing quite high. That has been something I was struggling with a bit this week.”
And Muguruza was equally concerned. “I have not experienced anything like this before, this altitude,” she said.
The players were divided into two groups of four — named after ancient cities in Mexico — with the top two emerging to the semifinal knockouts next Tuesday.
Group Chichen Itza
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)
Maria Sakkari (GRE)
Iga Swiatek (POL)
Paula Badosa (ESP)
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP)
Anett Kontaveit (EST)