Why 2018 WTA Finals will be ace: Amazing Osaka and Czech duos

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Last year’s WTA Finals saw a dominant Caroline Wozniacki breeze to the Singles title, dropping just one set in the whole tournament.

And in the Doubles, the pairing of Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova grabbed glory in Singapore.

There’s another chance for the top performers in the Women’s game to shine against the fellow big names this year. And ahead of the first serve on Sunday, we look at why there’s plenty to be excited about.

Will Osaka shine on hard court once again?

Naomi Osaka rocked the tennis world last month, with a spectacular US Open Final victory over Serena Williams. Many considered it a passing of the torch, with the 21-year-old capping off a year of impressive Grand Slam displays with a first major title.

With her biggest success to date coming on hard court, it’ll be fascinating to see whether the Japanese ace can dominate the big guns on this surface once again.

This also marks the youngster’s first appearance at this tournament – and a first chance to face one star name after another. The next week could tell us plenty about whether the powerful and skilful Osaka truly is the real deal.

Following Simona Halep’s withdrawal from the tournament, Osaka is the marginal 7/2 favourite to win the Singles competition.

Czech Doubles dominance is on the cards

This is something of a golden age for Czech tennis. And that’s represented in the fact that two of the highest-qualifying doubles sides for the 2018 edition are all-Czech affairs.

The pairing of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova chalked up Doubles glory at both Wimbledon and the French Open this year – with a resounding 6-3, 6-1 win in the final at Roland Garros.

But they also face competition from another duo from their homeland, in the form of Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova. The pair are also no strangers to glory, with two WTA Tour titles this year.

There’s every chance we could see an all-Czech tussle in the final, which would be thrilling stuff.

Wozniacki’s chance to bounce back

2018 began in excellent fashion for Caroline Wozniacki, but the Dane has struggled since her early-year Australian Open joy.

She couldn’t make it past the second round of either Wimbledon or the US Open – with a loss to world number 49 Ekaterina Makarova in the latter.

So all eyes will be on whether Wozniacki can recover her form at the competition she dominated last year.

The 28-year-old smashed Osaka (6-2, 7-5) in the pair’s last head-to-head meeting in Eastbourne last summer. A potential meeting in Singapore following the Japanese star’s recent ascent is a mouthwatering prospect.

Click here for the latest 2018 WTA Finals odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.