TOKYO/GUANGZHOU/SEOUL - The Asian Swing made its official debut last week but begins in earnest with a trio of tournaments in Tokyo, Guangzhou, and Seoul. What are the biggest storylines heading into the Toray Pan Pacific Open, Guangzhou International Women's Open, and Korea Open? Find out right here on wtatennis.com...
1) Garbiñe Muguruza leads stacked Tokyo draw.
French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza headlines the Toray Pan Pacific Open field. The Spaniard could see a US Open rematch against Anastasija Sevastova, who knocked her out in the second round. The draw doesn't get any easier with No.8 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as her projected quarterfinal opponent and a potential semifinal with either No.3 seed and US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova or No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova. Can Muguruza replicate her stellar form from last fall to win her first Tokyo title?
2) Two-time Tokyo champ Radwanska seeded second.
Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska aims for title No.20 in Tokyo. Hoping to shake off a fourth round defeat to Ana Konjuh in Flushing, Radwanska could face a tough row of opponents including Barbora Strycova, No.7 seed Petra Kvitova, and either No.4 seed Carla Suárez Navarro or No.5 seed Madison Keys to reach the final.
3) Pliskova has Singapore in her sights.
Karolina Pliskova's phenomenal run to the US Open final saw her shoot up to No.4 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard. She can't guarantee qualification in Tokyo, but the No.3 seed could boost her chances 2015 winner Radwanska and 2015 semifinalist Muguruza not far behind at No.5 and No.6, respectively. Pliskova plays her first match against either a qualifier or Yanina Wickmayer.
4) Mirza looking for a second Singapore berth?
Sania Mirza was one half of the first team to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global alongside Martina Hingis, but could be making a push for a second spot with new partner Barbora Strycova. Mirza and Strycova won the Western & Southern Open in their first tournament together, and the US Open quarterfinalists are seeded second in Tokyo. Learn more about the pair here.
5) Osaka the wildcard in Tokyo.
Naomi Osaka received a main draw wildcard after her US Open heroics, where she narrowly lost to Madison Keys in the third round. The personable Japanese star kicked off the Asian Swing by joining Twitter, and will play countrywoman Misaki Doi in the first round.
6) Tough draw for Errani, top seed in Guangzhou.
Sara Errani leads the field at the Guangzhou International Women's Open, but could face 2015 finalist Denisa Allertova in the second round. Unseeded in Guangzhou, Allertova beat former No.1 Ana Ivanovic in straight sets at the US Open.
7) Jankovic hoping to rebound from injury woes.
Jelena Jankovic took home the title in Guangzhou last year, and hopes for a repeat as the former No.1 tries to turn around a tough season. "I haven't competed much this year because of two ruptures in my shoulder," she said at the US Open. "So, I'm a little rusty, I think that shows. I have to stay healthy and hang in there because you have to be ready for every point." The Serb will be playing doubles with Hingis and opens against qualifier You Xiaodi in singles.
8) Begu adds some Seoul to the mix.
Irina-Camelia Begu is the No.1 seed at the Korea Open and the defending champion after winning the event last year. The Romanian opens against local wildcard Jang Su Jeong and could play countrywoman Monica Niculescu in the quarterfinals.
9) Larsson looks to build on strong summer.
Seeded No.2 in Seoul, Larsson reached the semifinals of the Connecticut Open as a lucky loser, upsetting Timea Bacsinszky and Roberta Vinci en route. The Swede followed that up by reaching the third round of the US Open for the second time in three years. Cutting her ranking in half since a July low of No.82, Larsson hopes to keep going against American Grace Min in the first round, with another American Louisa Chirico looming in the last eight.