Russian-born Australian Daria Gavrilova had a chance to stop Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova from squeezing out Australian-born Brit Johanna Konta from the WTA Finals main draw, but the two-time Grand Slam champion fought her way to the Kremlin Cup title and earned her spot in the prestigious season-ending tournament for the first time since 2009.
This season’s WTA Finals draw situation was a bit of a mess, as during the glamorous draw ceremony it was still uncertain whether Johanna Konta or Svetlana Kuznetsova would be the final member of the Elite Eight. While Britain’s Konta flew to Singapore to attend the ceremony on Friday and the All-Access Hour on Saturday, Russia’s Kuznetsova was fighting for the Kremlin Cup trophy in Moscow, which would qualify her for the prestigious season-ending event, and she’s done it!
Kuznetsova: “I was trying not to think about Singapore all week. I was playing match by match and I’m so happy to win and reach #WTAFinals.”
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) October 22, 2016
After defeating Alize Cornet in the second round, ninth seed Timea Babos in the quarterfinals and fourth seed Elina Svitolina in the semis, the top-seeded Kuznetsova beat world No.37 Daria Gavrilova 6-2 6-1 to win the Premier-level title for the second year in a row. After earning $141,700 as the Moscow champion, Kuznetsova is now rushing to Singapore to proudly complete with this season’s most successful players and get her share of the $7,000,000 WTA Finals prize money.
Denying Konta her WTA Finals debut, Kuznetsova has qualified for the tournament for the sixth time, joining the White Group alongside Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza. The world No.10 Konta will get a chance to compete if any player withdraws.