Thursday, November 23, 2017
Maria Sharapova

2017 WTA Kremlin Cup Preview

The 2017 Kremlin Cup tennis tournament will give WTA professionals a final chance to win a premier-level tournament. This is the last one of the season. There will be a noticeable sense of urgency in Moscow, especially for Russian players including Maria Sharapova, who gained a wild card entry into this event.

The competition in the 32-player main draw begins on Monday, October 16.

Event Details

Event: Kremlin Cup

Category: WTA Premier Level

Date: October 16-21, 2017

Location: Olympic Stadium – Moscow, Russia

The 2017 Kremlin Cup title is bolstered by its Premier status and its place near the end of the tennis calendar. With a prize money allotment of just over $790,000, this is a genuine opportunity to walk away with a very large paycheck. The prize money has grown by just over $30,000 relative to last year.

Points

Champion – 470

Runner-up – 305

Semifinal – 185

Quarterfinal – 100

Round of 16 – 55

Former Champions and Results (Last 5 years)

Year Champion Runner-up Score

2016 – Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Daria Gavrilova – 6-2, 6-1

2015 – Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – 6-2, 6-1

2014 – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Irina-Cameila Begu – 6-4, 5-7, 6-1

2013 – Simona Halep def. Samatha Stosur – 7-6(1), 6-2

2012 – Caroline Wozniacki def. Samantha Stosur – 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
Player Info:

Kristina Mladenovic made the Roland Garros quarterfinals, was becoming more of a perceived threat to win big tournaments, and then lost to Timea Bacsinszky. Then she got injured at Wimbledon and has never been the same player since. She will try to find a spark near the end of her season so that she can gain evidence that 2018 will be a bigger and better year. Mladenovic’s serve goes through too many ups and downs. She needs to make that a much more consistent shot if she is going to be a more complete and successful player on tour.

CoCo Vandeweghe made the U.S. Open semifinals after reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals. She has a huge game, centered around one of the most imposing and blistering serves on the WTA Tour. Her mental game is not always solid. She can fly off the handle and lose focus in a match. However, when she does decide to compete and focuses on playing the next point – something she has worked hard on with new head coach Pat Cash, the 1987 men’s Wimbledon champion – she becomes a much more difficult opponent to play. With Mladenovic being the top seed, Vandeweghe should think she has a very good chance to win this tournament. It is there for the taking.

Magdalena Rybarikova is the woman who beat CoCo Vandeweghe in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. She lost to Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals to complete an amazing run which was powered by a second-round upset of Karolina Plilskova. Rybarikova was ranked outside the top 700 earlier in 2017. She went on a big winning streak, specifically on grass courts, to build her ranking. The Wimbledon semifinal cemented her place in the upper tier of the rankings. She made a deep run this week in Linz, Austria. Her tennis has never been better.

Maria Sharapova lost to Simona Halep in Beijing after beating her in New York. Sharapova has dramatically built back her ranking so that in 2018, she will not have to qualify for major tournaments or ask for wild cards, which is what she got from the United States Tennis Association at the U.S. Open. Sharapova has shown the championship-caliber form of past years. Her ability to quickly adjust to normal match speed after a long layoff shows why she has had such a productive career.

Olympic Stadium

The arena was built for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. It holds over 20,000 for concerts and can bring in 16,000 people for various sporting events. Obviously, the crowds will be rooting for the hometown heroes to make a deep run. Usually, this is a big benefit to the Russian players. Maria Sharapova will be the star at this event. While she has been chastised at many other events throughout the year, this is one place where she should receive a warm welcome from the stadium audience. She’d be a great story for the locals if she in fact managed a deep run or won the tournament outright. She’ll have a home-field advantage at this event.

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About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

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