Usually it ends up rather anticlimatic with potential contenders going out in their first match. So most of the years it is just hard to get behind it all.
I was so impressed when Sveta of all people held it together and managed to get that last spot in 2016 with her title win in Moscow! She really overcame some challenges along the way and put on an excellent performance in the final!
She also proved that it is possible to perform well at the YEC right after just sneaking in. If the situation pans out like this it is quite exciting, as every match carries quite some importance and I would diasgree that it actually resulted in some good tennis particularly against Svitolina and Gavrilova.
I am equally impressed with Belinda's efforts so far mentally and physically. Tomorrow will be one of the most important matches of her career this far. So once again I am enjoying that race this year. Even though the qualify of her matches has not been outstanding. At least she is leaving it all out on the court and doing her very best.
And if she does it, she will even be able to rest for a week this time around!
I don't think it will ever change. The WC stuff could be avoided, but sometimes players may not realise that in 6 weeks they will have a final shot to get to the YEC, even though it would be advisable for any player ranked in some proximity after NY to enter Moscow. The level of play will usually suffer, as players are tired and the ones in the race will overplay to at least try all they can.
I don't really see a solution, as the YEC carry so much importance that players will go out of their way to qualify, even if they are not in the Right physical state to play. I mean Konta may still regret not trying everything and playing Moscow in 2016.
I thought the big match was Osaka/Andreescu in Beijing, because Bianca had won Rogers Cup & NYC in a row and if she won Beijing, she goes into Shenzhen as clear PotY
Now there is more intrigue , maybe wide open, and the players trying to get in 7,8 are not known for their wins in high pressure matches, so it could create some sloppy tennis. But when they get there, they are underdogs and might play better
This is a bit of a changing of the guard in the WTA the last 14 months since Osaka won the US Open and that could show in Shenzhen
Now Andreescu, Osaka and Barty are at the top and the 3 favorites, and lets see if they beat the older players here
It is quite clear that the OP is referring to the situation between Kiki and Belinda so I am not really sure what the debate of PotY has to do with qualifying for the YEC in the first place.