Can Ash Barty become the first Australian woman to finish as year-end world No.1 in the WTA rankings?
The 23-year-old returned to the top of the WTA singles rankings this week, replacing Japan’s Naomi Osaka, and is the first player to qualify for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
Barty has 1025 ranking points to defend for the remainder of the season, which equates to 15 per cent of her current ranking total. She currently holds a 376 point lead over second-ranked Karolina Pliskova, who is defending 22 per cent of her ranking total before the season ends.
Newly-crowned US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has few points to defend in coming weeks, increasing her chances of improving on her current career-high ranking of No.5.
Simona Halep, who has finished year-end No.1 in the rankings for the past two seasons, has even less to defend after missing the end of 2018 with injury.
The Romanian is currently second in the WTA Race to Shenzhen, so shapes as Barty’s biggest challenger for the coveted year-end No.1 position.
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Under pressure: After 12 consecutive finishes inside the year-end top 20 rankings, could this streak end for Caroline Wozniacki? The Dane, who won the China Open last year, has 1606 ranking points to defend in coming weeks. This equates to 61 per cent of her current ranking total, the highest of any current top 30 player.
One to watch: After a career-best Grand Slam result at the US Open, Swiss Belinda Bencic carries momentum into the final weeks of the season. With only 211 ranking points to defend, the 22-year-old has the opportunity to improve on her current ranking of No.10.
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