Will the China Open be upset-stricken like Wuhan, or will stars like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep have deep runs?
WTA Staff

BEIJING, China - Now that was a nice, predictable week in Wuhan, wasn't it?

Only one of the top five seeds made the quarterfinals, Serena Williams retired to hand Alizé Cornet a third win over the World No. 1 this year, and Maria Sharapova's hard court struggles persisted.

A blip or will the unusual results continue at the China Open in Beijing, the last major tournament for the women on the Asian swing?

Here we go with a look at the draw.

First quarter: Can Serena recover?
Cornet means trouble for Williams, the defending champ in Beijing. Williams retired in doubles at Wimbledon after losing to Cornet in singles and in Wuhan couldn't complete her tussle against the French No. 1.

They're in the same quarter again, although Cornet would need to get past 2013 finalist Jelena Jankovic and potentially the surging Caroline Wozniacki to set up another encounter against Williams.

Williams' path, especially if she's still not feeling 100 percent, doesn't look all that easy. She begins against a qualifier, but then it might be Maria Kirilenko, who recorded the best result of her comeback by typically grinding her way to the semifinals in Seoul, and Lucie Safarova prior to a potential rematch with BFF Wozniacki.

Wozniacki will need all that marathon training she's done to go deep in Beijing, because she prospered in both Tokyo and Wuhan in back-to-back weeks. Helping the Dane, though, is a first round bye.

She's well on her way to Singapore.

Prediction: Wozniacki (def. Safarova)

Second quarter: Radwanska to reverse fortunes?
There was no relief for Agnieszka Radwanska in Wuhan, her slump lingering after a loss in her opening match to the up-and-down Caroline Garcia.

Nothing, it seems, is easy nowadays for Radwanska, and she'll face the rising American CoCo Vandeweghe - and that serve - right off the bat.

If Radwanska, the 2011 winner, doesn't turn it around soon, she could miss out on Singapore - an unthinkable scenario months ago heading into the French Open.

Should she progress to the second round, the ever dangerous (but also erratic) Yaroslava Shvedova may await. More danger, however, lies in the third round, with Ekaterina Makarova, Garbiñe Muguruza or Karolina Pliskova likely surfacing.

Makarova thrashed Radwanska at Wimbledon and played her tough at the Rogers Cup; the extremely flat-hitting Muguruza engineered another impressive victory by topping Simona Halep in Wuhan; and the big-serving Pliskova posted a commendable third round showing in Wuhan - after playing in finals in Hong Kong and Seoul the previous two weeks.

Indeed, Makarova versus Muguruza - who'll hope to have rebounded from her stomach illness - is one of the first round matches to watch. Makarova needs an extended stay in Beijing to keep her faint Singapore hopes alive.

Garcia saved a match point to edge Venus Williams in a third set tiebreak in Wuhan and the pair could battle again in the second round in Beijing. Garcia eventually fell to Petra Kvitova, who is the highest seed in the quarter and won the title in Wuhan.

Prediction: Kvitova (def. Pliskova)

Third quarter: Sharapova to rally?
Sharapova has a Grand Slam in her pocket in 2014, but she'll have detested losing in the third round to the resurgent Timea Bacsinszky, a qualifier ranked 61st, in Wuhan.

It was only the second time this year the Russian exited to a player outside the Top 30, the other occasion coming on hardcourts, too, in Indian Wells to another qualifier, the then-ranked No. 79 Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Sharapova begins against Kaia Kanepi in Beijing, and even though the Estonian usually presents danger, she's 0-3 against Sharapova - taking one set.

Sharapova knows who her second round opponent would be, given that young Ukrainian Elina Svitolina - who has kicked on from 2013 - received a first round bye subsequent to her semifinal placing in Wuhan.

But in the third round, things figure to get even trickier for Sharapova if she plays Carla Suárez Navarro or Flavia Pennetta. Suarez Navarro upended Sharapova on hardcourts in Montréal in August while Pennetta has won two in a row - both on hardcourts - against Sharapova.

It's been a good Asian swing for Angelique Kerber, who sits at the top of the quarter - the German made the semis in Tokyo and quarters in Wuhan. Coupled with those behind her in the Road To Singapore standings not faring as well, the left-hander solidly occupies the final berth for Singapore.

A rarity, it's an all-lefty first-round match when Kerber meets Casey Dellacqua.

If it is Kerber versus Sharapova in the quarterfinals, it's a repeat of their thriller at Wimbledon.

Prediction: Sharapova (def. Kerber)

Fourth quarter: Wimbledon finalists to meet?
Wimbledon was the start of an upturn for Sabine Lisicki. She had trouble winning back-to-back matches prior to Wimbledon, but after reaching the quarterfinals at the All-England Club, her results have improved.

The high point was winning her first title in three years in Hong Kong, rallying from 5-1 down in the first set of the final against Pliskova.

But since Hong Kong, things could have been better for Lisicki. She failed to serve out her first round match in Tokyo against Dellacqua and eventually lost in three; in Wuhan, she blew a huge first-set lead, 5-0, to Svitolina and was eliminated in straight sets in the second round.

Lisicki is heavily favored to top World No. 496 Xu Shilin in the first round and barring a major upset, would face this year's Wimbledon finalist, Eugenie Bouchard. Bouchard making the final in Wuhan realistically sealed her spot in Singapore.

Still trying to get there is Ana Ivanovic, who won in Tokyo but then had a quick - and ultimately unsuccessful - turnaround in Wuhan.

With a several days to recover, she'll presumably be ready for Beijing, and might play Bouchard or Ivanovic in the third round.

At the bottom of the quarter, Simona Halep is seeking to bounce back after upset losses at the U.S. Open and in Wuhan. Halep's start comes against the all-court game of Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Prediction: Ivanovic (def. Halep)

Winner: Ivanovic

~ Ravi Ubha (@raviubha) has written for ESPN.com, CNN.com, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and is also a tennis broadcaster. He is based in London.