Big chance for women's elite at US Open
New generation of stars and some big-name veterans have golden opportunity at Flushing Meadows
Time flies when you are having fun, and we are now heading to the last Grand Slam of the season - the US Open.
In the last two weeks, we have seen two players rise to No. 1 in the world in the WTA rankings for the very first time - Karolina Pliskova in singles, and Lucie Safarova in doubles.
Simona Halep came close to stealing the crown from Pliskova, but the 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza defeated her in the final of the Cincinnati Open last week to hold her off.
It has been a while since the field in women's tennis has had this much depth, and it has undoubtedly brought about a lot of excitement to see the new generation of players putting it all out there, each hungrier than the next to prove that they deserve that top spot.
As the players continue in high gear ahead of the Asian Swing, which is the final leg of the Porsche Race to Singapore, the US Open is the last opportunity to make a big leap to secure pole position.
The Porsche Race to Singapore has also seen a lot of movement in the last couple of weeks, with the lead changing hands from Halep to Elina Svitolina last week, and Muguruza overtaking them both heading into this week's Connecticut Open.
The excitement around the solar eclipse on the opening day of the Connecticut Open could very well be a sign of the changing of the tide.
However, while the young up-and-comers have certainly earned their stripes, the prudent tennis fan would know better than to write off some of the stalwarts of the sport.
Leading the pack of veterans is Venus Williams, who at 37 is showing no signs of slowing down as she is still in the running to qualify for one of the eight precious spots at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global this year.
Another serious contender to make it to the elite eight in Singapore is former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who despite being only 27 years old, is in her 12th year on the circuit.
The coming fortnight at Flushing Meadows is when the players will really have to put their pedal to the metal to make their last major sprint to Singapore.
The way the leaderboard stands at the moment, we could be welcoming at least three players who have held the WTA world No. 1 spot at some point in their careers - Williams, Wozniacki and Pliskova.
As the most thrilling part of the season starts to kick into its highest gear, the pressure is on Pliskova to hold her spot at the top.
Closely behind her are Halep, Muguruza and Svitolina, all within reach of claiming the No. 1 spot in their careers.
Another former top-ranked player Martina Hingis has already qualified for the WTA Finals in doubles with her partner, Chan Yung-jan, and they will be joined by 2016 champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who will be eager to defend their crown.
The excitement in women's tennis at the moment is palpable.
I have no doubt that the WTA Finals in Singapore this year is going to be a spectacular showcase of women's tennis, as always.
More importantly, it will be a preview of what is to come, which I am confident is a very bright and promising future for our sport.
- Melissa Pine is the vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific and the tournament director of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She is also a former NCAA player at Washington State University and served as assistant coach of the team post-graduation. To find out more about the WTA Finals, visit www.wtafinals.com