Maria I know will play her three asian tournaments, bringing her total to 17 for the year. However, as a gold exempt player at 17, she is entitled to play 14 tournaments plus the grand slams (18.) What will that 18th event be? (The Championships doesn't count, as she could play that as a 19th event if she qualifies.)
As I see it, Maria will have to win all three of those Asian tournaments, beating the top seeds, just to guarantee herself a spot in the championships.
It is really too bad that she had such a dispicable hardcourt season. Mary Pierce and Mashona Washington really really REALLY hurt her chances.