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Tennis tips: WTA Finals tips from Aaron Ashley

All eyes will be on Mexico this week as the eight best female tennis players on the planet square-up in the season-ending WTA Finals, hoping to end their campaign on a high.

World number one Aryna Sabalenka was beaten by Caroline Garcia in last season's final and, having claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, will have high hopes of going one better.

However, the competition is fierce in Cancun and the pressure is on Sabalenka to defend a lot of ranking points following last year's near-miss.

The Belarusian faces off against Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari, who was drafted in as a replacement for the injured Karolina Muchova, in the Bacalar Group and will be favourite to progress.

The top two to come through that group, which is played in a round-robin style format, will reach the semi-final and meet the top two from the Chetumal Group.

Iga Swiatek, hoping to regain her world number one position from Sabalenka, is the headline act in that section and it could be a good draw for the Polish phenomenon.

The 22-year-old meets US Open champion Cori Gauff and Wimbledon finalists Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur.

Aaron Ashley's tips:

Iga Swiatek to win WTA Finals - 5/2
Iga Swiatek to win Chetumal Group @ 11/8
Jessica Pegula to win Bacalar Group @ 3/1

Swiatek spurred on to regain number one status

Losing her world number one tag which she had kept for 75 consecutive weeks – the third longest in WTA history - would have hurt Swiatek and her response to that setback so far has been sublime.

Sabalenka leapfrogged Swiatek in the world rankings with her run to the US Open final as the Pole could only make the last 16.

But with Sabalenka having to defend a lot of ranking points due to her run to last season's final, there is every chance Swiatek could return to world number one by winning the tournament.

And she looks a nice price to do so given her recent well-being and the section she has found herself landing in the weaker looking group.

When returned to action nearly three weeks ago, Swiatek cruised to the China Open title in Beijing, dropping only one set across her six tournament wins.

Her list of scalps in the Chinese capital included last season's WTA Finals champion Garcia, who evidently comes good at this time of year, and Gauff who she meets in the Chetumal Group.

Swiatek blitzed past the American 6-2 6-3, winning inside one hour and 15 minutes, and she has won eight of their nine previous meetings which highlights her dominance.

There are fitness concerns surrounding Wimbledon champion Vondrousova, whose only competitive match since the US Open in September saw her lose in three sets to Anhelina Kalinina in Beijing.

That leaves her vulnerable while the same can be said for Jabeur, who was forced to withdraw prior to her quarter-final with Daria Kasatkina in Zhengzhou a fortnight ago.

That means Swiatek has a gilt-edged opportunity to top the group, which looks an outstanding bet given the opposition, and from there she could take some stopping.

The Warsaw native is a worthy favourite and the four-time Grand Slam champion will be determined more than most to triumph given what is possibly on the line.

Pegula could give Sabalenka a scare

The Bacalar Group looks the more competitive of the two sections with a case to be made for any of the four.

Sakkari will be motivated to make the most of the opportunity she has been handed but she has lost three of her last five matches, so looks a worthy outsider.

Top seed Sabalenka understandably heads the betting but the Belarusian was beaten 7-5 6-2 by Rybakina in the quarter-final of the China Open earlier this month while she also wilted in the US Open final against Gauff, who had lost the first set 6-2.

She could, therefore, be worth taking on and with Rybakina hard to weigh up following a muddling year, Pegula looks the pick at the prices.

The American may struggle to win a Grand Slam event but she is a model of consistency and she arrives in Mexico in winning spirits having been crowned champion in Seoul in the build-up.

The competition is much tougher in Cancun but she at least knows her game is in great shape, which could make her Swiatek's biggest threat.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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