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Karolina Pliskova qualifies for WTA Finals Shenzhen after Zhengzhou trophy

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 16 Sep 2019
  • Karolina Pliskova becomes second player to qualify for the 2019 WTA Finals Shenzhen
  • After winning fourth title of 2019 in Zhengzhou, Pliskova joins Ashleigh Barty in the Shenzhen field
Karolina Pliskova has qualified for the WTA Finals Shenzhen (photo: Zhengzhou Open)

Karolina Pliskova qualifies for the WTA Finals Shenzhen after claiming the Zhengzhou Open trophy.

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World no. 2 Karolina Pliskova has become the second player to qualify for the WTA Finals Shenzhen after winning her fourth title of 2019 in Zhengzhou.

Pliskova joins French Open champion and current world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the field for the season-ending championships, which will be played in Shenzhen for the first time in 2019.

The WTA Finals, now known as the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, relocated from Singapore in 2019 and will feature the top eight singles players in the world as well as the eight best doubles teams. Qualification for the WTA Finals is tracked by the Porsche Road to Singapore, standings which record the accumulation of points over the calendar year, with the top eight players to comprise the field for the season-ending championships which take place from 27 October-3 November.

Pliskova with the Zhengzhou Open rophy (photo: Zhengzhou Open)
Pliskova overtook Wimbledon champion Simona Halep in the Porsche Road to Singapore this week after capturing her fourth title of 2019 at the ICBC Credit Card Zhengzhou Open. The Czech has now won more WTA Tour titles than any other player in 2019, having won the Brisbane International in January, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome in May and the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne in June. All of her titles have come at Premier level or higher, and she has won titles on all surfaces, as well as accumulating a WTA Tour-leading 49 victories so far in 2019.

The 27-year-old Czech also made the semifinals of the Australian Open in January and finished runner-up to Barty at the Miami Open.

Coached by Conchita Martinez, the former world no. 1 and 2016 US Open runner-up was accompanied at the Zhengzhou Open by former WTA Tour pro Olga Savchuk, where she overcame a rain-congested schedule and beat Polona Hercog, Ajla Tomljanovic and top-25 players Sofia Kenin and Petra Martic to win her fifteenth career title.

Pliskova will be making her fourth appearance at the season-ending championships, having qualified for the past three years. She reached the semifinals in 2017 (losing to Caroline Wozniacki) and 2018 (losing to Sloane Stephens).

'It’s always a goal of mine to qualify for the WTA Finals, and I’m proud to have done it for my fourth time,' Pliskova said. 

'I look forward to competing against the best players of the season and exploring the city of Shenzhen.'

Pliskova will be the fifteenth player in the history of the WTA Finals to have played at the season-ending championships four or more times. Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Sharapova hold the joint record for most appearances, with eight.

The latest standings for the Porsche Road to Singapore are below.

WTA Road to Shenzhen standings

StandingPlayerPoints2019 titlesPrevious WTA Finals appearancesBest WTA Finals result
1 - QUALIFIEDAshleigh Barty6,476French Open
Miami (Premier Mandatory)
Birmingham (Premier)
2 - QUALIFIEDKarolina Pliskova5,315
Rome (Premier-5)
Brisbane (Premier)
Eastbourne (Premier)
Zhengzhou (Premier)
3 (2016-18)SF (2017-18)
3 - QUALIFIEDNaomi Osaka5,246Australian Open
Beijing (Premier Mandatory)Osaka (Premier)
1 (2018)RR (2018)
4 - QUALIFIEDSimona Halep4,962Wimbledon4 (2014, 2015-17)Runner-up (2014)
5 - QUALIFIEDBianca Andreescu4,942
US Open
Indian Wells (Premier Mandatory)
Rogers Cup Toronto (Premier-5)
6 - QUALIFIEDPetra Kvitova4,401Sydney (Premier)
Stuttgart (Premier)
6 (2011-15, 2018)Champion (2011)
7 - QUALIFIEDElina Svitolina3,995-2 (2017-18)Champion (2018)
8Serena Williams3,935-9 (2001-2, 2004, 2007-9, 2012-14)Champion (2001, 2009, 2012-14)
9Kiki Bertens3,870Madrid (Premier Mandatory)
St Petersburg (Premier)
1 (2018)SF (2018)
10Belinda Bencic3,705Dubai (Premier-5)0-

Defending champion Elina Svitolina is one of those with some ground to make up, as she is currently in tenth position (although tenth is effectively ninth given the unlikelihood of Serena Williams playing).

As matters stand, four of the players who appeared in the 2018 field - Svitolina, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens - are all in danger of failing to qualify in 2019.

But the coming weeks are likely to see some significant movement on the Porsche Road to Shenzhen, with the Premier-5 Wuhan Open to be played from 22 September and the China Open, the final Premier Mandatory tournament of 2019, beginning on 28 October.

Two of the players currently ranked in the top 10 of the Porsche Road to Singapore, Naomi Osaka and Kiki Bertens, will be in action this week at the Toray Pan-Pacific Open in Osaka. Read more about the draw here.

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Karolina Pliskova qualifies for WTA Finals Shenzhen after Zhengzhou trophy

World no. 2 Karolina Pliskova became the second player to seal qualification for the season-ending championships after winning her fourth title of the year at the Zhengzhou Open, joining Ashleigh Barty in the confirmed WTA Finals Shenzhen field

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