With Monday’s announcement that Jessica Pegula has qualified for the WTA Finals in Cancun, five of the eight spots are accounted for. Pegula joins World No.1 Aryna Sabalenka, No.2 Iga Swiatek, No.3 Coco Gauff and No.5 Elena Rybakina.
With the final WTA 1000 of the season already underway at the China Open, here is a look at the closing stages of the Race to the WTA Finals.
Seven players are vying for the final three spots.
As the leaderboard currently stands, the No.6 spot belongs to Marketa Vondrousova, who lost in the first round of Beijing.
By winning her opening round match in Beijing, Ons Jabeur moves up from No.8 to No.7 in the Race. The No.8 spot belongs to Karolina Muchova, who is not playing in Beijing.
Just 21 points separate Vondrousova and Muchova, with Jabeur poised to move up one spot to No.6 if she wins her next Beijing match to advance to the Round of 16. A Beijing final for Jabeur would secure the sixth spot outright, regardless of who wins the title.
Sakkari, an outsider
Maria Sakkari remains in contention to qualify for the WTA Finals. Sakkari sat at No.15 in the Race coming out of a disappointing US Open, but a late-season surge, sparked by a title run at a WTA 1000 in Guadalajara and a semifinal run in Tokyo, has pushed her up to No.9.
With a performance bye in Beijing due to reaching the Tokyo semifinal, Sakkari opens her tournament against Linda Fruhvirtova. Sakkari must reach the semifinals to keep her hopes alive of qualifying for her third consecutive WTA Finals. She can enter the Top 8 by reaching the Beijing final.
Sakkari is scheduled to play in the WTA 500 tournament in Zhengzhou next week. It will be her final opportunity to earn points for the Race.
Sakkari is unable to play the final week of the season as she has reached her maximum number of WTA 250 tournaments as a Top 10 player, having competed in Linz and Nottingham; she also withdrew from Rabat after being accepted as a Top 10 player.
Beijing title or bust
Jelena Ostapenko, Daria Kasatkina and Tokyo champion Veronika Kudermetova remain in contention for a final qualifying spot but will need to win the title in Beijing to stay in contention.
In the doubles race, two teams -- Coco Gauff / Jessica Pegula and Storm Hunter / Elise Mertens -- have qualified for the WTA Finals. Eight teams are battling for the final six spots.
The Czech doubles team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova have a chance to secure qualification outright with a win in their next match against Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez. The Czechs, who will start their campaign in Beijing on Wednesday, could also secure qualification on Tuesday if either Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe, or Vera Zvonareva and Laura Siegemund lose their respective matches.
Melichar-Martinez and Perez currently sit at No.7 on the live leaderboard.
Zvonareva and Siegemund have utilized a late-season surge to move into the Top 8. Zvonareva and Siegemund made a run to the US Open final and went on to win the title at Ningbo last week, which pushed them to No.9. With their opening-round win over Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi in Beijing, Zvonareva / Siegemund now have a chance to leave Beijing in the Top 8, depending on other results.
Entering Beijing, Dabrowski and Routliffe sit on the outside looking in, currently holding the No.10 spot. That could change with a win on Tuesday, as that would potentially push them into the Top 8.
Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu remain in contention, although the duo sits at No.9 following their opening-round loss in Beijing. They will need to earn points over the final two weeks of the season to have a chance to qualify.
The other teams that remain in contention are Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs and Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, who both lost in the opening round in Beijing, along with Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend.