Tennis: Safarova seals spot at WTA Finals in Singapore

World No. 9 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic will make her WTA Finals debut in the eight-woman field in Singapore.
World No. 9 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic will make her WTA Finals debut in the eight-woman field in Singapore.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MOSCOW • The closest-ever race to the WTA Finals is finally over.

After months of action, the elite eight-woman singles field was confirmed yesterday, following Carla Suarez Navarro's quarter-final defeat at the Kremlin Cup.

With that result, French Open finalist Lucie Safarova secured the final berth in Singapore.

The world No. 9 joins Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Flavia Pennetta at the Oct 25-Nov 1 showpiece.

"I am really excited to qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time," said Safarova, who is also in the eight-team doubles field with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

"It has been a dream year and to be one of the eight qualifiers in singles and also compete in the doubles is something that makes me very proud.

"There have already been so many highlights this year, and I hope to finish it playing some more great tennis in front of the amazing Singapore crowd."

Suarez Navarro needed to reach the final in Moscow to overtake Safarova for the eighth spot. But the Spaniard fell 1-6, 2-6 to Russian Darya Kasatkina.

This also means that Timea Bacsinszky and Venus Williams will be the first and second alternates, respectively, in Singapore. Should there be any late pull-outs, they will replace the injured players.

On Wednesday, Pennetta withdrew from the Kremlin Cup through injury after successfully booking her last-eight spot.

She defeated Russia's Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-4 - guaranteeing her place in the WTA Finals. But an hour later, the Italian withdrew from the Moscow event.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2015, with the headline 'Safarova seals WTA Finals singles spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe