World No.8 Agnieszka Radwanska is the hot player of this period, sort of a late-season bloomer, having won two big tournaments of Tokyo and Beijing in back-to-back weeks of the end of September and beginning of October. In her third successive event, the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, the Pole lost in the second round to Lucie Safarova 6-4 4-6 6-4 and opened the door for Bartoli to take the last spot in the draw of the WTA Championships in Istanbul. All Radwanska can do now is sit and wait, while the victory over Safarova would have made her a certain qualifier.
The 27th-ranked Lucie Safarova is a talented player with great prospects, but her inconsistency prevents her from becoming an always-present big name in tennis. On her second match point Safarova earned her fourth victory over Radwanska in their five meetings.
Radwanska used to have the edge in contention for the final spot in the WTA Championships draw, but Bartoli kept her hopes alive by winning last week's HP Open, losing just 21 games in five matches. Now that Radwanska lost her opener, if Bartoli wins the Kremlin Cup she will qualify for Istanbul. In the Race to the WTA Championships, Radwanska currently has 330 points more than Bartoli. The Kremlin Cup winner receives 470 points, runner-up gets 320.
Bartoli's first opponent at the tournament is world No.38 Ksenia Pervak. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)