SHENZHEN, China - The WTA's elite eight were drawn into two groups for round robin singles play at the inaugural Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, and the year's four Grand Slam champions were split evenly amongst the two groups.
Top seed and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty headlines the Red Group, and is joined by Australian Open winner Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic.
No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova, the tour leader with four singles titles this year, tops the Purple Group, drawn with Bianca Andreescu, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina.
2011 champion Petra Kvitova, seeded No.6, and defending champion Svitolina, seeded No.8, are the lone former WTA Finals winners in the field.
US Open champion Andreescu, the No.4 seed, and semifinalist Bencic, seeded No.7, are making their overall debuts at the season-ending tournament, while Barty is playing singles for the first time.
Earlier on Friday, Barty was announced as the winner of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, the Leaderboard to the WTA Finals that tracked each player's quest for qualification throughout 2019.
Barty amassed 6,476 points from 14 laps (i.e. tournaments), with Pliskova finishing second with 5,315 points.
The doubles draw, meanwhile, has pitted top seeds and US Open champions Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka with No.3 seeds and French Open winners Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the Red Group.
Also in that pool are No.5 seeds Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching as well as Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs.
Headlining the Purple Group is the second-seeded combination of Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova, who lifted the Wimbledon crown.
Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan, the No.4 seeds, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, the No.6 seeds, and No.7 seeds Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai, who won the Australian Open, complete the pool.
ORDER OF PLAY
Sunday, October 27
Not Before 4:30 p.m.
(3) Naomi Osaka vs. (6) Petra Kvitova
(1) Ashleigh Barty vs. (7) Belinda Bencic
(2) Hsieh Su-wei/Barbora Strycova vs. (7) Samantha Stosur/Zhang Shuai
(4) Gabriela Dabrowski/Xu Yifan vs. (6) Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova
Monday, October 28
4:00 p.m. Start
(3) Timea Babos/Kristina Mladenovic vs. (5) Chan Hao-ching/Latisha Chan
Not Before 6:30 pm
(2) Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) vs. (8) Elina Svitolina
Not Before 8:00 pm
(4) Bianca Andreescu vs. (5) Simona Halep
(1) Elise Mertens/Aryna Sabalenka vs (8) Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Demi Schuurs