- WTA Championships
Azarenka and Serena to resume rivalry in IstanbulJo Carter October 22, 2012
Going by grand slam results alone, the women have been more consistent than the men this year, which is a bit of a turn up for the books.
The current top three - Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams (2) - are in possession of the four major trophies between them, and they all will be looking to end the year on a high at the WTA Championships in Istanbul.
- Red Group
- Victoria Azarenka
- Serena Williams
- Angelique Kerber
- Li Na
- White Group
- Maria Sharapova
- Agnieszka Radwanska
- Petra Kvitova
- Sara Errani
For world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who topped the rankings for the first time after her Australian Open victory in January, just two wins in the round-robin phase will be enough to ensure she will end the year on top.
It has been quite a year for Azarenka, who began the season with a 26-match winning streak and has bagged six titles, as well as becoming the first woman to win two Premier Mandatory titles in a season.
The Belarusian arrives in Turkey on the back of an 11-match winning streak with her eyes firmly on the prize, having been pipped in last year's final by Petra Kvitova. Azarenka's chances of victory is rated at 2/1 with bet365.
Perhaps the one player capable of stopping Azarenka is Serena Williams, who has also been drawn in the Red Group, guaranteeing the pair will meet in the round-robin stages.
Williams was virtually unstoppable this summer, winning Wimbledon, Olympic singles gold and the US Open, as well as a title in Stanford.
While Azarenka has bounced back from her US Open final defeat to Williams in New York with back-to-back titles in Beijing and Linz, Williams has not been seen since Flushing Meadows, but she is the red-hot favourite with odds of 6/5 with bet365
Cash in with Carter
- Victoria Azarenka to win the WTA Championships - 2/1 at bet365
Petra Kvitova to reach the final - 9/2 at bet365
Those who value their eardrums will be praying it won't be Azarenka versus Maria Sharapova in the final - but that match-up could happen in the semi-finals if one player wins her group and the other finishes runner-up.
Defending champion Petra Kvitova has struggled with consistency this season, but will always be dangerous on an indoor court - she is a tempting 9/1 with bet365.
French Open finalist Sara Errani may be the rank outsider at odds of 66/1 with bet365, but she is arguably the most likely player to leave Turkey with a trophy as she partners Roberta Vinci in the doubles.
Completing the White Group with Sharapova, Kvitova and Errani is Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, who at No. 4 in the world is expected to make the knockout stages, but her clash against Kvitova could well determine the outcome of the group.