Seven in running for top ranking at WTA Finals

Svitolina in action at the WTA Elite Trophy in 2016

The top seed Halep and the 24-year-old Garcia has 2-2 head to head record till now.

The opening day's action features both the youngest (Jelena Ostapenko, at 20 years and 141 days) and the oldest (Venus Williams, 37 years, 132 days) qualifier at this year's event.

Williams joins top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania, second-ranked Garbine Muguruza of Spain, third-ranked Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, sixth-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, seventh-ranked Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and ninth-ranked Caroline Garcia of France.

One final slam is probably a more realistic proposition than another extended spell at world No 1 for a player who has already established herself as a legend of the sport.

"I'm just going to give my best, to try to be focused on what I have to play in each match and we will see who is going to be No. 1 at the end".

Wimbledon champion Muguruza was deposed as world number one by Halep but she said she would have to be at her very best if she wants to win the year-end trophy and rankings crown on October 29. I've played a lot of times with all the girls, so I know pretty much everything about it.

Jelena Ostapenko is a deserving victor for the Most Improved Player. I'm happy that I got it in the past, and now I'm not that nervous or obsessed.

"I think we all play similar styles. (But) I'm going to fight for that".

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Venus Williams and French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko are set to do battle there.

But while she described it as "the best feeling in my tennis career so far", the Romanian is not about to lose sleep over the matter. Inconsistency is the common theme of the WTA Tour this year, hence why so many players have a shot at ending the year as No 1. "It's a attractive change, in fact".

Williams, resurgent after her battle with Sjogren syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, has had a remarkable year, reaching two Grand Slam finals and qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009.

I start with Venus tomorrow, so I beat her once from match point and once I lost a very close match.

"So this tournament is really going to decide who is going to finish the year world number one". I think it's different.

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