World No.8 and 2018 Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens is set to make her debut at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. The 25-year-old American became the sixth singles player to qualify for the WTA Finals on Sunday, after it was confirmed that No.5 Elina Svitolina will not play an event in the final week of the season.
With Stephens joining a field that already includes No.1 Simona Halep, Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, US Open and Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka, Madrid champion Petra Kvitova, and Australian Open and Beijing champion Caroline Wozniacki, two qualifying spots remain as the tour turns to the final week of the WTA regular season. The two spots will go to either Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, or Kiki Bertens.
The final two positions will be decided at this week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Entering the tournament, Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova hold the final two spots, while Kiki Bertens sits at No.9 on the Porsche Race to Singapore Leaderboard. Both Pliskova and Bertens are playing in Moscow, while Svitolina is not.
Porsche Race To Singapore Leaderboard heading into Moscow:
7. Elina Svitolina: 3,850 pts.
8. Karolina Pliskova: 3,840 pts.
9. Kiki Bertens: 3,710 pts.
SCENARIOS FOR WTA FINALS QUALIFICATION
Bidding to become the first Dutchwoman to qualify for the WTA Finals since Brenda Schultz-McCarthy in 1997, Bertens' qualifying fate is firmly in her own hands.
Bertens must reach the semifinals to qualify for Singapore. By reaching the semifinals, Bertens would have 3,865 points, pushing her ahead of Svitolina and therefore qualifying for the WTA Finals.
A semifinalist in Singapore last year, Pliskova can secure her return to Singapore if Bertens loses before the semifinals. The Czech can also secure her qualification outright by reaching the semifinals herself, regardless of any other results.
As Svitolina will not be playing Moscow, her qualification will be determined by Pliskova and Bertens' Moscow results:
- If both Pliskova & Bertens make semifinals in Moscow --> Pliskova & Bertens qualify
- If only Pliskova makes semifinals in Moscow --> Pliskova & Svitolina qualify
- If only Bertens makes semifinals in Moscow --> Bertens & Svitolina qualify
- If neither Bertens nor Pliskova make the semifinals in Moscow --> Svitolina & Pliskova qualify
The two alternate positions are also in flux this week in Moscow. While the first alternate spot will go to one of the three women still looking to qualify, Aryna Sabalenka, Elise Mertens, Anastasia Sevastova, and Daria Kasatkina all have a shot at the second alternate position:
- Aryna Sabalenka: Not playing this week.
- Elise Mertens: Needs to reach at least the Moscow semifinals
- Anastasija Sevastova: Needs to reach at least the Moscow semifinals
- Daria Kasatkina: Needs to reach at least the Moscow final
Qualification for the WTA Finals is based on a number of variables and only becomes official when the respective player or team has reached a point total that will assure a Top 8 finish on the Porsche Race to Singapore Leaderboard. It is only at that point when we will officially acknowledge a player’s qualification to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The WTA is now accepting applications for Media Accreditation for the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Applications can be submitted via wtafinals2018.