SINGAPORE - It's been seven years since the last time she competed at the WTA Finals, but Svetlana Kuznetsova's last-minute heroics have earned her a spot at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
1. Eleventh hour ace.
Kuznetsova is usually not one for drama, but her Singapore qualification had plenty of it. She snagged the eighth qualification spot on the last possible day with her win in the final of the Kremlin Cup.
2. Second chance.
A scheduling mix-up almost left her out of Moscow, though, and she needed a last-minute wildcard to get into her home tournament, where she was the defending champion.
"I really wanted to be here. I just didn't choose the right time to sign in," the Russian explained.
3. Quick turnaround.
Kuznetsova is known for her stamina and ability to outlast anyone on court, but she'll have to pull off the turnaround of a lifetime to be ready for Singapore: she's scheduled to play her first match on Monday at 7:30 pm 5000 miles away against defending champion Radwanska.
4. On familiar territory.
She's been at this stage before, plenty of times. In fact, she's made five previous appearances at WTA Finals: competing in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
5. Round robin resurgence?
Despite her many appearances at the Finals during the early part of her career, Kuznetsova never advanced past the round robin stage, posting a 3-12 match record.
6. A favorable draw.
The cards just might be in her favor this year, though. The Russian was drawn into the White Group, and she owns a 13-5 head-to-head record against the other members, including a 12-4 advantage against Radwanska.
7. 31 years young.
At 31 years and 123 days old, Kuznetsova is the oldest qualified player at this year's Finals.
9. Feels like '09.
Her successful season has also boosted her current ranking to No.9, her highest year-end ranking since 2009 (when she finished at No.8).
10. Long road back.
It's been a long journey back to the top for the former World No.2. A Top 20 fixture for most of her career, injuries cut Kuznetsova's 2012 season short after Wimbledon and her ranking plummeted to No.85 by January of 2013. She finally returned to the Top 10 after her round of 16 finish this year at Wimbledon.