Despite the absence of Serena Williams there should be some compelling matches, but as this infographic demonstrates, the tournament is Sharapova's to lose, or a moment for Halep to step up and prove why she really is the #2 player in the world behind Serena. Sharapova has a combined 19-5 against the members of her group. (Bizarrely, the only player she has a negative record against is Pennetta! But's it only 2-3.)
Matchups I am looking forward to are Kvitova-Safarova, Sharapova-Halep and Kerber-Kvitova.