The Hologic WTA Tour heads to Asia next week and the Toray Pan Pacific Open leads the way. For the first time since 2018, the tournament returns to the newly renovated Ariake Coliseum featuring a hard court featuring Paula Padusa, Caroline Garcia, Elena Rybakina and defending champion Naomi Osaka.
Here’s what you need to know about Tokyo:
When does the tournament start?
The Toray Pan Pacific Open is a WTA 500 event that takes place at the Ariake Coliseum and Forest Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan. The last edition of the tournament was held in 2019 in Osaka due to the renovations of the stadium in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. The tournament has not been held in the past two years due to Covid.
Tokyo features a 28-player single and 16-team doubles tie, and in its 37th edition, the tournament is held on an outdoor hard court and uses the Australian Open Dunlop ball.
The main drag play begins on Monday, September 19th.
What is the date of the finals?
The singles and doubles finals will be played on Sunday, September 25th. The singles final will take place at noon with the doubles final.
Who are the hero defenders?
Naomi Osaka claimed her first home title in 2019, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Osaka would have gone all the way back through the Asian swing, winning the China Open two weeks later.
Chan Hao Ching and Latisha Chan took the doubles title by defeating Hsieh Su Wei and Hsieh Yu Chih 7-5, 7-5.
Who are the best seeds?
1. Paula Badusa
2. Caroline Garcia
3. Garbiñe Muguruza
4. Veronika Kudermitova
5. Beatrice Haddad is with you
6. Karolina Pliskova
7. Alison Riske Amritraj
8. Elena Rybakina
Padusa, ranked No. 4 in the world and No. 10 Garcia, lead the strong field this year. The draw features four main champions, Muguruza, Rybakina, Naomi Osaka and Sofia Kenin, and three former champions of Muguruza, Osaka and Pliskova.
Bye bye the first four seeds in the second round.
What does the lottery look like?
The main draw is in Tokyo (WTA 500), where Paula Padusa, Caroline Garcia, Garbine Muguruza and Veronica Kudermetova all topped.
Rybakina Samsonova pic.twitter.com/cCfmKQqM3w
– WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 17, 2022
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
Naomi Osaka returns to Japan: The defending champion had consistent success at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. She made it to the finals twice before running for the title in 2019 when she hosted the event in her hometown of Osaka. She will face a difficult task in the opening round after the draw with Daria Savile. The winner will face either the number 5 ranked Maya blacksmith or Yuki Naito.
Caroline Garcia is looking forward to continuing to rollThe Cincinnati champion saw her 13-match winning streak end over Anas Jabeur in the US Open semi-finals, but her run put her back in the top 10 for the first time since 2018. Garcia will face either Zhang Shuai or Mae Huntama in the second round.
The race to the WTA Finals heats up: With Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur already qualified, six locations remain for the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas. Up to four players can boost their positions in Tokyo. Garcia sits fifth on the race leaderboard behind Jessica Pegola and Coco Gauff and could outsmart them both by the title difference.
Kudermetova sits at No. 10 in the race and Badosa is right behind her at No. 10. A late-season boost from Haddad Maya, who is currently 17th, could make the Brazilian top the leaderboard.