2011 titles: 6 (Dubai, Indian Wells, Charleston, Brussels, Copenhagen, New Haven) Why she'll win: Wozniacki has held the No. 1 ranking for a year now and needs a big win to back it up. She reached the WTA Championship final last year losing to Kim Clijsters in three sets. With Clijsters not a factor, this may be her year. Why she won't: Though she's won six titles, Wozniacki isn't known for coming through when it counts. She's consistent enough to keep that No. 1 ranking, but the bigger the stage, the bigger the disappointment.
Showdown in Istanbul
The top eight women's players in the world have gathered in Istanbul, Turkey this week for the WTA Championships. Can Caroline Wozniacki (left) justify her world No. 1 ranking? How will Maria Sharapova (right) fare in her return from an ankle injury? Click through for a preview.
2011 titles: 3 (Carlsbad, Tokyo, Beijing) Why she'll win: Radwanska may just be the biggest surprise of the season. Winning back-to-back titles in Tokyo and Beijing to earn the eighth spot in Istanbul, Radwanska seems to be peaking at the right time. Why she won't: Radwanska has been dealing with shoulder injuries off and on all year and after a lot of play this month, her body may not cooperate.
2011 titles: 1 (US Open) Why she'll win: When Stosur stepped onto Arthur Ashe Stadium in September against Serena Williams, not many thought she'd have much of a chance. But Stosur quietly and confidently dominated the match to earn her first Slam and lone title of 2011. A win in Istanbul would prove she didn't get lucky. Why she won't: Two versions of Sam Stosur play on tour: The US Open champion and the one that lost in the third round of the Australian Open and French Open and in the first round of Wimbledon.
2011 titles: 2 (Doha, Baku) Why she'll win: Zvonareva is a fierce all-around competitor who makes very few mistakes. If she can keep her cool, the former No. 2 player has as good a chance as anyone of taking the title in Istanbul. Why she won't: Though a two-time slam finalist, Zvonareva is known for her meltdowns when the pressure hits her.
2011 titles: 2 (Sydney, French Open) Why she'll win: When she's on, she's on. Early this year Li jumped out to a smashing start, winning Sydney and reaching the Australian Open final. She followed it up with a historic French Open win, so she's capable of big-time play. Why she won't: After the French Open, Li switched coaches and was not a factor at Wimbledon or the US Open losing in the second and first rounds, respectively.
2011 titles: 3 (Miami, Marbella, Luxembourg) Why she'll win: Azarenka won last week's tournament in Luxembourg and likes back-to-back titles. (She followed up her Miami win this spring with the Marbella title). The Belarusian has been a top-5 fixture all year and poses a threat to anyone she faces. Why she won't: Azarenka has posted losses to Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska and was forced to retire against Caroline Wozniacki. She's just 3-7 against the rest of the top 8.
2011 titles: 5 (Brisbane, Paris Indoors, Madrid, Wimbledon, Linz) Why she'll win: At 21, Kvitova is just getting started and has a Wimbledon trophy on her mantle. She has earned five titles this year despite a light fall schedule. Why she won't: Yes, she did win a major, but Kvitova can be very inconsistent as she proved with a first-round US Open exit.
2011 titles: 2 (Rome, Cincinnati) Why she'll win: If nothing else, Sharapova has proved this year that she's a fighter. The former world No. 1 surged to No. 2 in the rankings after a solid summer which included winning two titles and reaching the semifinals at Roland Garros and the final at Wimbledon. When playing her best she can beat anyone. Why she won't: Sharapova injured her ankle last month at the Pan Pacific Open and Istanbul will be her first attempt on the court since then to see if it's properly healed.