Tennis: Wozniacki makes fifth WTA Finals

Caroline Wozniacki retained her Pan Pacific title in Tokyo last week, and has reached six other finals this year.
Caroline Wozniacki retained her Pan Pacific title in Tokyo last week, and has reached six other finals this year.

Dane is the sixth singles player to book a spot in Singapore, with two berths remaining

BEIJING • Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki has become the sixth women's singles player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

The Dane, who retained her Pan Pacific title in Tokyo last week and reached six other finals this year, joins Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Venus Williams in Singapore, with two spots left for the Oct 22-29 tournament.

Wozniacki, who will make her fifth appearance at the season-ending event, reached the final in 2010 when Doha hosted the WTA Finals. She also reached the semi-finals in 2009 and 2014.

"I'm very excited that I've qualified for the WTA Finals again," the 27-year-old, who beat local hope Wang Qiang 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 in the first round of the China Open in Beijing yesterday, said in a statement.

"I have such great memories of the tournament, especially from 2010, and I can't wait to get back to Singapore and play my best tennis in front of the amazing fans there."

Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova, the two players currently on the two remaining singles spots in the race to qualifying for the WTA Finals, suffered shock exits at the Open yesterday.

Konta was thrashed 1-6, 2-6 by Romania's Monica Niculescu, and Kuznetsova lost to Spain's Lara Arruabarrena 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 1-6.

The top eight players at the US$7 million (S$9.5 million) WTA Finals will face off in a round-robin format for the Billie Jean King Trophy.

Meanwhile, men's rising star Alexander Zverev said yesterday that he is blocking out the growing hype surrounding his fast emergence, as he makes his tilt at China Open glory this week.

The 20-year-old German is seeking his sixth title of the season and, with the old guard of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray skipping the event, he fancies his chances.

The second seed starts play tomorrow against Britain's Kyle Edmund and could face seventh seed Tomas Berdych in the last eight.

Australian Nick Kyrgios, who on his day can compete with the best, is a potential semi-final opponent, with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal looming in the final if the Spaniard navigates his tricky side of the draw.

Asked about the pressure that comes with his growing fame, Zverev, the world No. 4 , said : "It's a work in progress."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2017, with the headline 'Wozniacki in 5th WTA finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe