2021 WTA Tour previews – September 20: Swiatek top seed at WTA 500 event

A WTA Tour 500 event in Ostrava will headline this week’s action, with a 125 event in the United States, and a couple of W80 tournaments in Europe. We make note of some of the key points to keep in mind.


  • Iga Swiatek coming in as top seed after a fourth round appearance at the US Open. She went down to Belinda Bencic in straight sets 7-6 6-3 with Bencic also here, though Swiatek overcame Anett Kontaveit who will play in Ostrava
  • A third round appearance for Petra Kvitova at the US Open before going down to Maria Sakkari is another possible rematch here among the stop four seeds, with the quartet already mentioned the clear standouts
  • Since her Roland Garros final, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has not quite been able to replicate her form returning to grass (2-2) and hard (7-3), with 35th ranked Alison Riske her biggest scalp since her Grand Slam final loss
  • Jelena Ostapenko and Riske come in with an extra tournament behind them, both having played in respective WTA 250 finals in Luxembourg and Portoroz respectively
  • Of those at this event last year, Sakkari reached the furthest with a semi-final appearance, whilst Sara Sorribes Tormo finished in the final eight


  • World number 72 Ann Li is the top seed at the event, with  the potential to rise up all the way to 55th in the world with a victory. The 21-year-old Next-Gen eligible player has plenty of potential, but just needs to start putting into tangible title runs
  • There is no shortage of United States representatives in the draw, with 17 of the 32 players main draw players hoping to lift a trophy in their home nation
  • Lizette Cabrera will be hoping to upstage Li in the opening round, with the Australian joined by Maddison Inglis and Priscilla Hon – the latter won through as top seed in qualifying
  • Madison Brengle could be Li’s biggest threat in the draw, with the former world 35 seeded third, and has had some good wins this year including Sofia Kenin at Wimbledon – where she reached a third round – but has not been able to achieve more other than the ITF Tour
  • Young gun Katrina Scott, the unranked teenager who reached a second round at Flushing Meadows last year and pushed compatriot Amanda Anisimova to three sets, is also among the home contingent here


  • Fresh off her title at Valencia, Martina Trevisan will be looking to go back-to-back on the clay, this time as second seed to Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus
  • The finalist from Valencia, Dalma Galfi has entered this draw, with former Top 5 player Sara Errani, as well as Slovakian Kristina Kucova rounding out the top four seeds
  • Teenage Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva reached a semi-final in the last Valencia tournament but has already been knocked out in qualifying, with fellow teenager Darya Astakhova making it through to be the second highest ranked Next-Gen player in the tournament behind Frenchwoman Dianne Parry


  • Next-Gen talent Clara Burel leads the field on the clay in Germany, with the world number 91 the only Top 100 player in the event
  • Andorran 16-year-old Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva has also entered the draw, and will be keen to bolster her world ranking of 406th
  • Rounding out the top four seeds are Ysaline Bonaventure (129th in the world), Cristine Bucsa (161st) and Reka Luca Jani (191st)
  • German world number 239 Katharina Gerlach will be the highest ranked home nation player at the event


Picture credit: Daniel Korpatsch / ITF

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