World No. 1 Iga Swiatek leads a strong field that includes four of the top 5 Hologic WTA Tour tours at next week’s AGEL Open in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The field also features Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Seoul champion Ekaterina Alexandrova, as well as Jelena Ostapenko and Emma Raducano.
Here’s what you need to know about Ostrava:
When does the tournament start?
The 2022 AGEL Open is a WTA 500 event starting on Monday, October 3rd. The tournament takes place on a hard indoor court at the Ostravar Arena and will use a Dunlop AO ball.
Ostrava is characterized by singles draw with 28 players and doubles draw for 16 teams.
What is the date of the finals?
Both finals will take place on Sunday 9 October. The doubles final is scheduled for noon, and the singles final will follow, not earlier than 2:30 p.m.
Who are the hero defenders?
Last fall, Annette Kontaveit kicked off the best season of her career by winning her second title of the year in Ostrava. Then at No. 30, Kontaveit defeated Sorana Kirstia, Paula Padusa, Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari to win the title. Kontaveit went on to win 22 of her last 25 games of the season, before making her WTA Finals debut and finishing the year seventh.
In the doubles, Sania Mirza and Zhang Shuai defeated Kaitlin Christian and Irene Rotliff 6-3 6-2 in the final.
Who plays in Ostrava?
1. Iga Swiatek
2. Paula Badusa
3. Annette Kontaveit
4. Maria Scary
5. Daria Kasatkina
6. Belinda Bencic
7. Beatrice Haddad is with you
8. Jelena Ostapenko
In addition to Swiatek and Ostapenko, Ostrava will host five additional slam champions in Rybakina, Raducanu, Victoria Azarenka, Barbora Krejcikova and Petra Kvitova. The highest-ranked player in the Czech Republic, Karolina Pliskova, seeded 19, is also in the mix.
What does the lottery look like?
The raffle will be held on Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 pm
What are the prize money and ranking points offered?
First round: 1 point / $8,080
Round 2: 55 points / $11,185
Quarter-finals: 100 points / $20.505
Semi-finals: 185 points / $42,010
Final: 305 points / $71,960
Champion: 470 points / $116,340
Swiatek is back in action: The world No. 1 seed is set to play her first tournament since winning her first US Open title and seventh title of the season.
The race to the WTA Finals above: More than any other part of the season, points are higher over the next three weeks, as a single match can decide a player’s fate after the season ends. Just ask Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian ranked No. 30 when she marched to the Ostrava title last year and eventually beat Jaber to finish in the top eight and qualify.
The players in the 10-20 race positions in Ostrava:
Maria Scarry (Race 10)
Paula Padusa (Race No. 11)
Madison Keys (Race #12)
Belinda Pensik (Race.13)
Beatrice Haddad Maya (Race No. 14)
Annette Kontaveit (Race No. 17)
Jelena Ostapenko (Race No. 18)
Ekaterina Alexandrova (Race No. 20)
Kasatkina looks forward to boosting qualification opportunities: Besides Swiatek, Kasatkina is the only other top 8 player playing this week. Champion in San Jose and Granby this summer, Kasatkina sits 7th in the race and is just over 100 points behind Coco Gauff at No. 4.
Alexandrova, Ostapenko, Rodokano Building in Seoul: All three players reached the fourth round in Seoul last week, where Alexandrova outpaced Ostapenko to win her second title of the season. The biggest questions revolve around Ostapenko and Radokano, who both appear to have sustained injuries in their last two matches.