The WTA Finals race is down to one open spot after Thursday’s results at the Guadalajara Open Akron.

Aryna Sabalenka—who lost Wednesday—and Daria Kasatkina—who hadn’t taken the court against Anna Kalinskaya when the achievement was clinched—were sent through to Fort Worth on a day that saw three American women advance to the last eight.

Sabalenka is set to compete at the year-end championships for the second year in a row, as she aims to improve on a 1-2 performance in the group stage. Kasatkina joins first-time qualifiers Ons Jabeur, Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff in making her debut.

Friday’s winner between Veronika Kudermetova and Maria Sakkari will complete the lineup.

Pegula and Gauff each continued their search for a first 2022 singles crown with straight-set victories. Pegula defeated Bianca Andreescu, 6-4, 6-4, to reach her ninth quarterfinal of the year.

The WTA’s top-ranked American will next battle countrywoman Sloane Stephens, who continued her impressive Guadalajara stretch by taking down Caroline Garcia, 7-6 (6), 7-5—saving three set points in the opening tiebreaker. Stephens has won eight consecutive matches in the city, having triumphed at February’s 250 event.

Will one of these two go on to be crowned the new WTA Finals champion?

Will one of these two go on to be crowned the new WTA Finals champion?


Gauff trounced Martina Trevisan, 6-0, 6-3, to get the better of the Italian for the second time after rolling through their Roland Garros semifinal. Later, Victoria Azarenka set a showdown with the 18-year-old by remaining undefeated in three career meetings with Madison Keys.

Azarenka recovered from unsuccessfully serving out the match at 5-3 in the second set to advance, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1. With Keys seeing her hopes to secure a Fort Worth place ended, Sabalenka and Kasatkina were the biggest benefactors of Azarenka’s result.

Jelena Ostapenko suffered the same fate as Keys when she was upended by Kudermetova, 6-4, 6-4. The Latvian will still make the trip to the Lone Star state in doubles with partner Lyudmyla Kichenok.

Kudermetova is seeking to become the third competitor after Pegula and Gauff to qualify in both singles and doubles. Sakkari confirmed the winner-take-all clash with the 25-year-old when she battled past Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Sakkari, who reached the semifinals on her WTA Finals debut a year ago, shrugged off missing a set point on serve at 5-4 in the first to ultimately bounce back.

Kalinskaya finished off Kasatkina, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, on her sixth match point to close out the night. Marie Bouzkova, a 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 winner over Liudmila Samsonova, awaits.