The first wildcard into the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament Of Champions was meant for Jelena Jankovic, but she's out for the season now - and another talented WTA veteran is stepping in.
WTA Staff

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Flavia Pennetta has been awarded a wildcard into the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament Of Champions, the season-ending championships for the WTA's International Series.

Sofia welcomes eight players every year - the six highest-ranked International title winners and two wildcards who aren't competing at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Though she didn't win an International title this year, Pennetta won something bigger - the Premier Mandatory-level BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the 10th and biggest WTA title of her career.

She also did extremely well at the Grand Slams - she reached the quarterfinals of both hardcourt Grand Slams, the Australian Open (falling to Li Na) and the US Open (falling to Serena Williams).

The Italian has also become one half of one of the best doubles teams in the second half of the year, partnering Martina Hingis to the Wuhan title and the finals of Eastbourne and the US Open.

The Swiss-Italian pair still has a shot at qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore.

The first wildcard into the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament Of Champions was originally meant for Jelena Jankovic, but the former No.1 was forced to miss the rest of the season due to a back injury.

"My back injury has been bothering me and it's not getting better quickly enough, so unfortunately my season has to come to an end after Tianjin," Jankovic said in a statement on the weekend.

"I was looking forward to seeing my fans in Moscow and Sofia and playing both tournaments, but due to medical advice I must start my rehabilitation now to allow myself to properly heal for next year.

"Thank you all for your support and I look forward to seeing you next year."

Pennetta joins Ekaterina Makarova, Dominika Cibulkova and Andrea Petkovic in the field (more here).