The 24th world No. 1 of the WTA circuit, Garbine Muguruza will make her first official appearance as a world leader in Tokyo, Japan as the 2017 calendar has entered its Asian leg. Two-time Grand Slam champion, Muguruza is expected to produce a similar game to the one that propelled her towards the summit of women's tennis. But she won't be alone at Toray Pan Pacific Open (Premier category event) as the former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova is also in the main draw trying to keep her eye on her recently lost seat at the top. For Muguruza, it's once again time for the pressure to weigh heavily on her shoulders.

In the past, she was a bit under the weather when she was given the main stage to perform. It was right after winning in Cincinnati when she was put in the upper drawer of US Open's favorites. As it turned out, she went on to lose in the fourth round to Petra Kvitova.

Muguruza as the top seed in Tokyo

For the second week in a row, Japan's capital city is the focal point of the WTA professional tour. Last week, the WTA International event landed in Zarina Diyas' pocket. The very next week, things go one step higher as the Premier event is now being held in the same place. Garbine Muguruza is the first seed, and she received a bye in the opening round. The same goes for the next three seeds in line.

Pliskova, Wozniacki, and Konta will jump into action starting with the second round. Muguruza leads the upper half of the draw, but her path towards the higher stages is nowhere near the comfort zone. The second round will put Monica Puig, the Olympic gold medalist, on the other side of the net while Caroline Garcia or Kurumi Nara loom for the quarterfinals.

The semis may bring Caroline Wozniacki or perhaps Dominika Cibulkova across the net. Wozniacki is the defending champion in Tokyo.

Pliskova leads a tricky part of the draw

The bottom half of the draw includes two former world No. 1's as Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber will share the battlefield in Tokyo and could collide in the quarterfinals.

While Pliskova is trying to preserve her chances to finish the year as the world No. 1, Kerber is struggling to regain form. Currently ranked outside the top 10, she will face Daria Kasatkina for a place in the last eight stages.

So far, it's been quite a journey in women's tennis as the current season has seen four different names putting their feet on the summit. One by one, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova had their moment. Now, it's Muguruza's turn in what may be the dawn of a new era.