Tennis: The eight in the running to succeed Serena at WTA Finals

The 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global will see, for the first time in four years, a different champion crowned following the absence of Serena Williams. It has also been the tightest race ever for players to qualify for the season finale. The Straits Times takes you through who the eight contenders are, and what it took for them to get here this year.

Red Group

SIMONA HALEP (ROM)

Age: 24

Height: 1.68m

Titles this year: 3 (Shenzhen, Dubai, Indian Wells)

Best Grand Slam result this year: US Open semi-finals

WTA Finals appearances: 2

Fun fact: Idolises Belgian former world No. 1 Justin Henin

Twitter followers: 33, 582

Head-to-head

Maria Sharapova: 0-5

Agnieszka Radwanska: 4-4

Flavia Pennetta: 1-4


MARIA SHARAPOVA (RUS)

Age: 28

Height: 1.88m

Titles this year: 2 (Brisbane, Rome)

Best Grand Slam result this year: Australian Open final

WTA Finals appearances: 7

Fun fact: Last year, she became the first tennis player, male or female, to cross 15 million fans on Facebook.

Twitter followers: 1.86 million

Head-to-head

Simona Halep: 5-0

Agnieszka Radwanska: 12-2

Flavia Pennetta: 2-3


AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (POL)

Age: 26

Height: 1.73m

Titles this year: 2 (Pan Pacific Tokyo, Tianjin)

Best Grand Slam result this year: Wimbledon semi-finals

WTA Finals appearances: 7

Fun fact: Nicknamed "Ninja" for her crafty skills on court

Twitter followers: 204,412

Head-to-head

Simona Halep: 4-4

Maria Sharapova: 2-12

Flavia Pennetta: 5-3


FLAVIA PENNETTA (ITA)

Age: 33

Height: 1.72m

Titles this year: US Open

Best Grand Slam result this year: US Open champion

WTA Finals appearance: 1

Fun fact: She is engaged to fellow Italian and tennis player Fabio Fognini, ranked No. 22 on the ATP Tour. They are reportedly getting married next June.

Twitter followers: 256,608

Head-to-head

Simona Halep: 4-1

Maria Sharapova: 3-2

Agnieszka Radwanska: 3-5


White Group

GARBINE MUGURUZA (ESP)

Age: 22

Height: 1.82m

Titles this year: 1 (China Open)

Best Grand Slam result this year: Wimbledon final

WTA Finals appearance: 1

Fun fact: Enjoys cooking, baking and dancing.

Twitter followers: 105,072

Head-to-head

Petra Kvitova: 0-0

Angelique Kerber: 3-3

Lucie Safarova: 0-1


PETRA KVITOVA (CZE)

Age: 25

Height: 1.82m

Titles this year: 3 (Sydney, Madrid, New Haven)

Best Grand Slam result this year: US Open quarter-finals

WTA Finals appearance: 5

Fun fact: Won the 2011 edition of the Finals, when it was called the WTA Championships, on her debut.

Twitter followers: 269,904

Head-to-head

Garbine Muguruza: 0-0

Angelique Kerber: 4-2

Lucie Safarova: 7-0


ANGELIQUE KERBER (GER)

Age: 27

Height: 1.73m

Titles this year: 4 (Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham, Stanford)

Best Grand Slam result this year: 3rd round at French Open, Wimbledon and US Open

WTA Finals appearance: 3

Fun fact: Trained with 22-time Grand Slam winner and countrywoman Steffi Graf this year, a short stint she credits for a turnaround in her season.

Twitter followers: 139,507

Head-to-head

Garbine Muguruza: 3-3

Petra Kvitova: 2-4

Lucie Safarova: 1-1


LUCIE SAFAROVA (CZE)

Age: 28

Height: 1.77m

Titles this year: 1 (Doha)

Best Grand Slam result this year: French Open final

WTA Finals appearance: 1

Fun fact: Like Muguruza, Safarova will be playing in both singles and doubles.

Twitter followers: 24,527

Head-to-head

Garbine Muguruza: 1-0

Petra Kvitova: 0-7

Angelique Kerber: 1-1


Click here for an event guide for the WTA Finals.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2015, with the headline 'The eight in the running to succeed Serena'. Print Edition | Subscribe