The Road To Singapore is a long, grueling journey, but last year there were some very early signs of who was going to qualify for the WTA Championships - in fact three of the eight players who ended up there won titles in this same three-tournament week a year ago in Brisbane, Shenzhen and Auckland.
Serena Williams won the biggest prize that week, the Premier-level Brisbane International, and not only did she end up qualifying for the WTA Championships, she won the title and finished the year No.1.
Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska ended up conquering the International-level Shenzhen Open and ASB Classic, respectively, and both ended up qualifying for the WTA Championships as well. Li would reach the final and finish the year at No.3; Radwanska fell in the round robin stage and finished No.5.
But regardless of how they did in the actual end game, the three early frontrunners carried that momentum through the season and all the way to the WTA Championships. Could history repeat itself?
Incidentally, this week last year - Williams winning Brisbane, Li winning Shenzhen, Radwanska winning Auckland - was an historic first. In the 50 three-tournament weeks since the inception of computer rankings in 1975, only once have three Top 10 players swept all three titles in one of those three-tournament weeks - World No.3 Williams, World No.7 Li and World No.4 Radwanska a year ago.
It can't happen again this week - there are no Top 10 players playing in Auckland - but maybe there's a WTA Championships qualifier looming there anyway, maybe one of the two former No.1s there...