Petra Kvitova has become the sixth player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals, set to hold in Shenzhen from 27 October to 3 November.
*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance
The two-time major winner joins Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and US Open champion, Bianca Andreescu as the players to have already secured their spots at the year-end Finals, reserved for the top eight players on the WTA’s Race to Shenzhen.
Kvitova has qualified with a couple of weeks to spare, despite struggling with a forearm injury at the midway point of the season. The Czech had made a blistering start to the year, reaching at least the final in four of her first eight tournaments, but she was bothered by a forearm injury during the clay-court season, and was forced to pull out of the French Open as a consequence. The problem also disrupted her North American hard court campaign, as she withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Toronto, failed to cross the opening round in Cincinnati, and crashed to Andrea Petkovic in the second round of the US Open.
The former world No. 2 has however had a more productive Asian swing, reaching the last four in Wuhan, her first semi-final since April, and backing it up with a quarter final run at the China Open in Beijing- a result that ultimately sealed her spot in Shenzhen.
“I’m so happy to qualify for the Shiseido WTA Finals in Shenzhen,” said Kvitova. “After a great start to the year in Australia I’m really proud to have secured my spot for the seventh time. This will be the third city I have visited for the WTA Finals so I’m excited to see what’s in store in Shenzhen”.
Kvitova returns to the WTA Finals for the second successive season, and seventh time overall, and she will attempt to claim a second title at the prestigious meet. The Czech won the event on debut in 2011, when it was staged in Istanbul, winning all five matches to become just the fourth player to win the tournament at her first attempt, while she also made the final in 2015, losing to Agnieszka Radwanska.
A fine 2019 has included title runs in Sydney and Stuttgart, while she also made finals at the Australian Open- her first in a major since 2014- and Dubai. She has put together a 37-13 win-loss record this season, and has been ranked inside the world’s top-ten all year.
There are still two more spots up for grabs in Shenzhen, with Elina Svitolina, the reigning WTA Finals champions, and Serena Williams currently occupying the seventh and eight positions, while Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic, in ninth and tenth respectively, are the other players still in with a chance of making it to Shenzhen. It is very tight between Svitolina in seventh and Bencic in tenth, with just 290 points separating all four players, and just two weeks of competition left to go in the 2019 regular season.
Bertens and Bencic have the opportunity to strengthen their bids this week as they are leading the draw at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz in Austria, while Svitolina and Williams are sitting out this week. The Race is likely to go down to the final week of the season, with WTA International tournaments set to hold in Moscow and Luxembourg. Svitolina and Bertens are currently scheduled to compete in Moscow, while it is very possible that Bencic joins the Moscow or Luxembourg field via a wildcard.
Serena Williams’ participation in the season-ending finals remains uncertain- if she qualifies- hence, ninth place could still be good enough to get any of the other three players into the tournament.
Players in bold have already qualified. Table correct as of Monday, 7 October.