Race to Fort Worth: Six women who have to win in Guadalajara

Elena Rybakina in action

The Guadalajara Open offers an opportunity for a clutch of women to snatch a place at the WTA Tour finals in Fort Worth.

Some have a better shot than others while a group of six women can only clinch a place if they win the tournament.

This situation sets up what should be a titanic struggle for the WTA Tour’s final Masters tournament of the season.

Three players have qualified for the season finale (Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula), while five spots remain.

The 17 players who have a chance of reaching the tournament are all playing in the Guadalajara Open.

Coco Gauff is closest to clinching a place needing only to win her opening match to become the fourth player to book their place in Fort Worth.

For half a dozen women the only route to Fort Worth is to win in Mexico.

Beatriz Haddad Maia

Celebrations for Beatriz Haddad Maia

The Brazilian has had her moments this season and heads into the final Masters event with 47 match wins to her name with 41 of those coming in main draw matches, with only Ons Jabeur and Iga Swiatek winning more.

Haddad Maia has won both of her career titles this season but hasn’t managed deep runs in the big tournaments.

Ekaterina Alexandrova

Alexandrova kept herself in the frame for the WTA Tour finals by reaching the San Diego semi-finals, even taking a set off the World No 1 before suffering defeat to Swiatek.

She has also won two titles this season, bringing to three the number of WTA Tour championships she has claimed.

Jelena Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko plays a shot

Ostapenko has been in the winner’s circe this year but hasn’t always found her best form.

She has lost both the Masters series finals she has played in the past, going down in the championship match in Qatar in 2016 and Miami in 2018.

Barbora Krejcikova

Barbora Krejcikova in action

The 2021 French Open champion is on a hot-streak and is a genuine contender for the title in Guadalajara.

She has not gone beyond the third round of a WTA 1000 event this year but won back-to-back tournaments earlier this month in Tallin and at home in Ostrava.

Elena Rybakina

The Wimbledon champion was denied any points for her SW19 triumph and as a result has been left trying to make up ground to secure a place in her first WTA Tour finals.

She lost the only final she has reached since Wimbledon when she was riunner-up at the Serbian Open in September.

Liudmila Samsonova

Samsonova has won three titles this season but all three of her successes were at the WTA 250 level.

Having battled past a tough opening opponent in Kaia Kanepi she faces second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the Round of 32.

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