Race to WTA Tour Finals in Fort Worth hots up at the San Diego Open

Elena Rybakina in action

The WTA 500 San Diego Open could provide a number of players with a boost in their pursuit of a place at the season finals.

Heading into the week just two players have sealed their qualification for the WTA Tour finals.

Eight of the Top 10 players in the Race to the WTA Finals are also in the San Diego draw.

The WTA Tour has just two weeks and three tournaments left until their regular season wraps making the San Diego and Guadalajara events game-changers in the race.

Jessica Pegula (3,232), Coco Gauff (2,983), Caroline Garcia (2,896), Daria Kasatkina (2,885), Aryna Sabalenka (2,871) and Veronika Kudermetova (2,606) are all set to play in San Diego.

The chasing pack will be out to turn up the heat on the players in possession of those qualification spaces.

Last week Kasatkina moved to No 6 from No 7, ahead of Sabalenka, with a first-round win over Emma Raducanu in Ostrava.

Veronika Kudermetova leapfrogged Sakkari into ninth place to occupy the final singles spot by advancing to the semifinals in Monastir before falling to Alizé Cornet, 6-4, 6-3.

A good run in San Diego would go a long way toward qualifying for a number of top players.

Anett Kontaveit will not play in San Diego due to injury but she moved up to 14th on the standings despite losing her first match in Ostrava, moving past Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Sakkari, Badosa and Haddad Maia all lost their first matches in Ostrava losing out on another opportunity to take a big step towards Fort Worth.

Belinda Bencic would win her first-round match and then granted eventual Ostrava Open winner Barbora Krejcikova a walkover in the Round of 16.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina leapt up one spot to No 21 with three wins in the Czech Republic after she beat Madison Keys, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Petra Kvitova — before falling in the semifinals to the hard-charging Krejcikova.

Rybakina has a tricky path to success in San Diego with World No 1 Swiatek awaiting her in the second round should she get past former rankings queen Garbine Muguruza.

Kvitova upset Badosa, the No 2 seed in Ostrava, to move up to 16th in the Race to Fort Worth standings, ahead of Danielle Collins.

Seoul champion Ekaterina Alexandrova moved up two spots, to No 18, just ahead of Jelena Ostapenko, as she reached the semifinals in Ostrava before losing to Swiatek.

Eighth-placed Simona Halep has already confirmed that she will not play in Fort Worth have ended her season following nasal surgery.

READ MORE: Barbora Krejcikova storms back into top 20