Tennis: Kerber's return to form earns her WTA Finals spot

Germany's Angelique Kerber will be aiming to go one better than her 2016 runner-up finish at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.
Germany's Angelique Kerber will be aiming to go one better than her 2016 runner-up finish at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber will return to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for next month's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

The 30-year-old German is the second of eight singles players to qualify for the Oct 21-28 showpiece here, after top-ranked Simona Halep, who booked her spot in August.

Kerber, a former world No. 1, clinched her third Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon in July by beating American star Serena Williams in the final at the All England Club.

Her first two titles came at the Australian Open and US Open, both in 2016.

"I am honoured to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore this year," she said.

She topped the world rankings for 18 weeks last year but her form dipped and she ended the 2017 season ranked world No. 21 in singles.

After a resurgent year, she is now ranked third in the world. Besides her Wimbledon victory, she also triumphed at the Sydney International in January.

She said: "I have many memories of competing in Singapore, especially reaching the final in 2016 (where she lost to Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova), and I'm excited to be back and (playing) in front of the amazing fans."

It is her fifth appearance at the season-ending tournament, which features the world's top eight singles players and doubles pairs.

The 2016 runner-up previously qualified for the 2012 and 2013 editions of the WTA Finals in Istanbul, Turkey, and also featured in the 2015 tournament in Singapore.

This is the last year that the tournament will be staged in the Republic, before it moves to Shenzhen.

Dane Caroline Wozniacki won last year's edition, beating Venus Williams in the final.

Serena Williams won the first Singapore edition in 2014 for her third straight title and Pole Agnieszka Radwanska triumphed a year later.

•Tickets available at wtafinals.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2018, with the headline 'Kerber's return to form earns her WTA Finals spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe