On Wednesday, Petra Kvitova rounded out the first half of the qualifying group for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, joining Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, and Maria Sharapova in the elite draw. This is a tournament that sets the top eight players in women’s tennis against one another in a battle to finish the season with the Billie Jean King trophy. Competing in the WTA Finals is a goal of every competitive player on the tour, and after Serena Williams’ withdrawal from her year-end tournaments, the frenzy to secure a spot has only intensified.
Even though a point system ranks Simona Halep as number one in the field with 5,790 points and Garbine Muguruza second with 4,511 (Sharapova has 4,322 points and Kvitova 3,491), the trophy is up in the air, especially if this season’s outcomes are any indication. Serena Williams’ withdrawal has left the field quite open, but each qualifier has her own challenges to conquer en route to the final.
Simona Halep will likely be the favorite, as she performed spectacularly in last year’s WTA Finals, only to fall short to Serena in the final match. However, her season has been rocky, with early exits at Wimbledon and Roland Garros mixed with a semifinal appearance at the US Open.
Garbine Muguruza has had a breakout season in rising to number four overall, but she will have her hands full in her first WTA Finals appearance.
Injuries have plagued Maria Sharapova once again this season, forcing her to withdraw from multiple tournaments after Wimbledon, including the US Open. Sharapova is a veteran of the WTA Finals, winning outright in 2004 and reaching the finals in 2007 and 2012.
The latest qualifier, Petra Kvitova, has qualified for the WTA Finals for the fifth consecutive year, winning the final in 2011. She is 3-0 in WTA finals this year, but has been mediocre in Grand Slam tournaments.
With the current field and four spots left in Singapore, the path to the Billie Jean King trophy will be an exciting and unpredictable one! And to make things even better, Women’s Tennis Blog’s photographer Jimmie48 will be there, bringing us live coverage straight from the courts.