Porsche Race to Shenzhen Update—Kvitova 6th to qualify; two spots left

Porsche Race to Shenzhen Update—Kvitova 6th to qualify; two spots left

Elina Svitolina, Serena Williams, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic remain in the running.

Petra Kvitova became the sixth player to qualify for the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, joining Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka in the season-ending tournament which takes place from October 27 to November 3.

Kvitova is a former WTA Finals champion, winning it in her debut, in 2011, when it was held in Istanbul, Turkey. The Czech will be making her seventh career appearance at the round-robin event.

“I’m so happy to qualify for the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen,” she said. “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.”

It’s been another strong season for the two-time Wimbledon champion, highlighted by reaching the third Grand Slam final of her career at the Australian Open, where she fell to Osaka in a tough three-setter. Had she won that final, Kvitova would have risen to No. 1 for the first time. She also won titles this year at Sydney and Stuttgart, both Premier events, and reached another final in Dubai.

Kvitova qualified for the WTA Finals after a two-week stretch in China that saw her reach the semifinals of the Premier 5 event in Wuhan, and the quarterfinals of the Premier Mandatory event in Beijing.

“Finally I had a great two weeks of tennis,” Kvitova said. “I’m glad that I played many matches, which I missed in the second part of the season. I’m also glad my body is still staying together. We’ll see how it looks tomorrow, but so far it’s okay, which is very important for me to know for the rest of the year.”

Last two spots down to Svitolina, Serena, Bertens and Bencic

Elina Svitolina, Serena Williams, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic, who currently occupy the No. 7 through No. 10 spots in the Porsche Race To Shenzhen, are vying for the last two spots at this year’s WTA Finals— and they’re separated by just 290 points, with only two weeks of tournaments to go.

Courtesy WTA Information System

Two of those four contenders for the WTA Finals are in action this week: Bertens and Bencic are the top two seeds at the International-level indoor hardcourt tournament in Linz, Austria. The last two qualification spots will likely come down to next week’s Premier-level event in Moscow, where Svitolina and Bertens are currently entered. As of now, there have been no wild card announcements, but that could change. (There is also an International-level tournament in Luxembourg during the last week of the season.)

Two more doubles teams qualify for Shenzhen, too

The doubles teams of Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan and Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai have also become the fifth and sixth teams to qualify for the WTA Finals, joining Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka, Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic and Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan in the eight-team field.

Courtesy WTA Information System

Stosur and Zhang won the Australian Open doubles title in January, while the Chan sisters have won four WTA doubles titles this year, including Premier-level titles at Doha, Eastbourne and Osaka.