WTA Washington 2017, also known as the 2017 Citi Open, will be played next week in the American capitol. Qualifying will be played over the weekend, just ahead of the start of the main draw on Monday. Two big names that will be in the main draw belong to Canada's Eugenie Bouchard and Romania's Simona Halep. They will each be looking to go on deep runs with Halep targeting the World No. 1 ranking in the weeks ahead.

Bouchard enters in the midst of a poor season

Bouchard, currently ranked 69th in the world, enters the tournament looking for a strong result. While she enjoys widespread fame among tennis fans, her on-court results haven't been anything special this season.

She enters Washington cold as ice following three straight losses in her most recent tournaments. Bouchard fell in the first rounds in all of Wimbledon, Eastbourne, and Mallorca. That stretch of play is not uncharacteristic of the Canadian's form this season. While she did do well in Madrid, she also had first-round losses in Monterrey, Miami, Indian Wells, and Acapulco this season. With tournaments coming up in Toronto and Quebec City, the Canadian will want to hit good form ahead of playing in front of partisan Canadian fans.

Halep in the hunt for top spot

Halep is a much more dangerous player in Washington than Bouchard. The Romanian, at the age of 25, is currently ranked 2nd in the world.

There is not a lot between the top players at this point in the women's rankings. Karolina Pliskova currently holds the top spot after Halep failed to seize it at Wimbledon earlier this summer. Garbine Muguruza, who will compete at the WTA Stanford draw next week, is certainly in the mix for the top ranking as well.

Even a relatively small event like Washington could have significant implications for the top spot over the longer term. However, Simona Halep is in a defensive position for ranking points at this time. She won Montreal last year and the drop date for the points affiliated with that tournament is imminent.

That said, a title in Washington would help the Romanian stay close to Pliskova, a player that will be idle next week.

Other key players that are on the current players' list include Kristina Mladenovic, Sloane Stephens, and Monica Puig. Stephens is among the American contingent at the event, a contingent that also includes Shelby Rogers, Christina McHale, and Lauren Davis. The most proven player in the draw is former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. However, her best tennis appears to be well behind her. In many ways, the tournament appears to be on Halep's racket as she prepares for the 2017 US Open.

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