After a much-needed break after the Australian Open, the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy is set to kick off Monday. Voted by the players as the WTA 500 Tournament of the Year for the third consecutive year, here's what you need to know about the event.
When does the tournament start?
The St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy is a WTA 500 played on indoor hard courts at the Sibur Arena in St. Petersburg Russia. The event consists of a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. The official ball is the Babolat Team Ball.
Main draw play begins on Monday, Feb. 7.
When are the finals?
The doubles final will take place on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 2:00 p.m. The singles final will follow, not before 4:30 pm.
Who are the top seeds?
This year's field is led by two Top 10 players, with No.8 Maria Sakkari seeded No.1 and No.9 Anett Kontaveit seeded No.2. Roland Garros finalist and the highest-ranked Russian, No.14 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, is seeded No.4. The 2018 champion, Petra Kvitova, received a wildcard and is seeded No.6
Top Eight Seeds
1. Maria Sakkari
2. Anett Kontaveit
3. Elena Rybakina
4. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
5. Belinda Bencic
6. Petra Kvitova
7. Jelena Ostapenko
8. Elise Mertens
Who are the defending champions?
Daria Kasatkina won the singles title in 2021, defeating Margarita Gasparyan 6-3, 2-1 (ret.). Nadiia Kichinok and Raluca Olaru took home the doubles title.
What does the draw look like?
Main draw at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, where Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit are the top seeds.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 5, 2022
Petra Kvitova has taken a wildcard, seeded No.6. pic.twitter.com/UwCNjPTIT0
For a more detailed breakdown of the draw, click here.
Notable first-round matches: Belinda Bencic vs. Veronika Kudermetova, Camila Giorgi vs. Ekaterina Alexandrova, Alizé Cornet vs. Elise Mertens, Marketva Vondrousova vs. Sorana Cirstea, Anett Kontaveit vs. Jil Teichmann, Jelena Ostapenko vs. Wang Xinyu.
What is the prize money and ranking points on offer?
First Round: $6,200/1 point
Second Round: $9,500/55 points
Quarterfinals: $18,500/100 points
Semifinals: $39,000/185 points
Final: $66,800/305 points
Champion: $108,000/470 points
Melbourne rebound: For a handful of marquee players, St. Petersburg offers an opportunity to build some traction after disappointing exits at the Australian Open and build momentum towards the Middle East swing in Dubai and Doha. Top seed Maria Sakkari bowed out to Jessica Pegula in the Round of 16 in Melbourne. No.2 seed Anett Kontaveit, No.3 seed Elena Rybakina, and No.5 seed Belinda Bencic all bowed out in the second round. No.6 seed Kvitova also took an early loss in Melbourne, bowing out in the first round to Cirstea.
Cornet looks to build: After her inspiring and emotional run to her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open, Cornet is back in action and will face No.8 seed Mertens in the first round. Now ranked No.37, her highest since 2018, Cornet leads the head-to-head against Mertens 2-1; she won their last meeting in straight sets at 2021 Charleston. The Frenchwoman has not won a hard-court title since 2016 Hobart.
Russian rule: Six Russians are in the main draw (before qualifiers placed), led by No.14 Pavlyuchenkova and No.29 Kudermetova. Since the tournament began in 2016, a Russian has lifted the trophy just once. That came last year when Kasatkina overcame Gasparyan in the event's first all-Russian final.