As the top seeds roll into action at the WTA Premier tournament in Stuttgart, Germany this week, the No. 1 ranking is once again in play – barely.
The WTA Insider reports that Petra Kvitova, ranked No. 3 and 322 points behind No. 1 Naomi Osaka, must win the title.
But if Osaka wins her first match, on Thursday against frequent nemesis Hsieh Su-Wei, she will remain No. 1 regardless.
World No. 2 Simona Halep, just 185 points behind Osaka but with a quarter-final to defend, pulled out with a hip injury after Romania’s unsuccessful bid to reach the Fed Cup final last weekend.