The 24th edition of the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow will take place between October 14-20, with a rock-solid field of players ready to fight for the title. Martina Hingis, Mary Pierce, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep and Svetlana Kuznetsova had all won the crown in Moscow and we should get another entertaining battle for the trophy next week as well, with three top-10 players ready to hit Moscow.
Simona Halep will not chase another crown in the Russian capital, withdrawing due to back injury that has bothered her for quite a while now. The Romanian is forced to skip the VTB Kremlin Cup for the second year in a row, struggling to find form after Wimbledon and hoping to recover in time for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
Simona has failed to reach the quarter-final in the last four tournaments, suffering two early losses during the Chinese swing and deciding to take more rest ahead of the final and one of the most notable vents of the season where she couldn't play in 2018.
After a slow start in January, Simona reached the final in Doha and the quarter-final in Dubai, backed by the semi-final in Miami and the title match in Madrid, losing those matches to Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens. An early setback in Rome wasn't that important as the quarter-final defeat at Roland Garros, failing to defend the title and dropping a lot of points on the WTA list.
Nonetheless, Simona left mediocre clay season behind her in no time at all, saving her best tennis for Wimbledon where she played one of the career-best events to go all the way and lift the second Major crown, beating Serena Williams in the title match.
After a suitable rest, Halep was the quarter-finalist in Toronto and that proved to be her last good result so far, struggling in Cincinnati, the US Open, Wuhan and Beijing where she couldn't compete at her best due to injuries, despite giving her 100%.