Garcia clinches final WTA spot as Konta withdraws
Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia secured the eighth and final spot for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore after Britain’s Johanna Konta withdrew from the Kremlin Cup in Moscow due to a foot injury, the WTA said yesterday.
Garcia, 23, won back-toback titles in Wuhan and Beijing, beating Simona Halep in the final of the latter to leapfrog Konta in the Race to Singapore rankings at the start of the month, but pulled out from the ongoing Tianjin Open with an injury.
Her withdrawal gave Konta an outside chance of qualifying for the Oct 22-29 event, although she would have had to reach the final of the Moscow tournament to overtake Garcia.
“Qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore means the world to me,” Garcia, who will be making her first-ever singles appearance at the event, told the WTA website.
“I’m very proud to be among the top eight players of the season and I’m looking forward to being part of that incredible field.”
World No. 4 Elina Svitolina, who is among the eight players bound for Singapore, has withdrawn from the Hong Kong Open due to injury.
The 23-year-old Ukrainian has been carrying a right groin strain which was heavily strapped as she laboured to a first-round victory over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova overpowered Poland’s Magda Linette to enter the quarter-finals of the Tianjin Open yesterday and is targeting a first title since returning from a 15-month doping ban.
The former world No. 1 prevailed 7-5, 6-3 and will make her first quarter-final appearance since April’s Stuttgart Open, where she lost to Kristina Mladenovic in the semi-finals.
FINAL FIELD FOR WTA FINALS
Garbine Muguruza (Spain) Simona Halep (Romania) Karolina Pliskova (Czech Rep) Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)
Venus Williams (US)
Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) Caroline Garcia (France).