SOFIA, Bulgaria & NANJING, China - The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships may be done, but the women's tennis season still has two weeks before shutting down - beginning this week with the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament Of Champions in Sofia and the Nanjing Ladies Open in Nanjing.
The draw in Sofia won't be made until Monday, but its field is set. Six of the top International-level winners this year - Simona Halep, Maria Kirilenko, Samantha Stosur, Elena Vesnina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Alizé Cornet, and two wildcards - Ana Ivanovic and Tsvetana Pironkova.
The eight players will be split into two round robin groups, with the top two finishers of both groups moving on to the single elimination semifinals and final. The round robin portion will run from Tuesday to Friday, with the semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday. There is no doubles at the event.
This is the fifth year for the Tournament Of Champions. Sofia is the event's second home, having been held in Bali, Indonesia for its first three years from 2009 to 2011 (with Aravane Rezai winning in 2009 and Ivanovic in 2010 and 2011) and moving to Sofia last year (with Nadia Petrova winning the title).
Meanwhile, Nanjing will host the inaugural Nanjing Ladies Open, a WTA 125K Series event. It is the fourth WTA 125K Series event of the year, after stops in Cali, Colombia (Lara Arruabarrena won the title), Suzhou, China (Shahar Peer won the title) and Ningbo, China (Bojana Jovanovski won the title).
The top seed in Nanjing is Kimiko Date-Krumm, the popular Japanese veteran who is currently ranked No.55 in the world after a strong season that has seen her reach the third round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. A former World No.4, she was tied with Li Na for highest-ranked Asian player ever until this week, when the Chinese will rise to No.3 in the world after a fantastic run in Istanbul.