ST PETERSBURG, FL, USA – New World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza has become the first singles player to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
Joining Muguruza in Singapore this October will be the all-Australian doubles team of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, with the pair set to make their debut appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Muguruza, the reigning Wimbledon champion, will be making her fourth consecutive overall appearance at the year-end event. On her singles debut in 2015, becoming the first Spanish player to appear at the WTA Finals since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 2001, Muguruza posted a perfect 3-0 record to progress from the round-robin stage, before falling to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals.
In 2016, Muguruza bowed out in the singles group stages, while in the doubles format, she and partner Carla Suarez Navarro fell in their opening match in 2014 and went on to finish as beaten finalists in 2015.
“Congratulations to Garbiñe, Ashleigh and Casey for qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Garbiñe has proved over the last three seasons she belongs among the elite of women’s tennis, and she continues to inspire and excite sports fan around the world. We are also thrilled to welcome Ashleigh and Casey to the Singapore Sports Hub for the first time after a memorable season,” he added.
“Every season one of my main goals is qualify for Singapore, as it's proof you are one of the best eight players of the year,” said Muguruza. “To secure my place so early gives me great satisfaction and motivates me to keep working hard as we enter the last section of the season. I have great memories of the tournament and the city. It will be my fourth year in a row there, and I look forward to playing my best tennis.”
“We are incredibly excited to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global and are looking forward to competing as one of the Top 8 doubles teams of the season,” said Dellacqua.
“It really is a dream to compete at our first WTA Finals and we can't wait to play in front of the fans in Singapore,” added Barty.
Muguruza’s season has been highlighted by two titles, first lifting her second Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon (in addition to French Open in 2016), where she defeated the evergreen Venus Williams in the final. She won her second tournament of 2017 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in August, which saw her beat the World No.1 and No.2 - Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep respectively - en route to the title. The Spaniard also reached the semifinals of the Brisbane International, Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford in another stellar season.
The news of Barty and Dellacqua’s qualification caps a trophy-laden year for the pair, who have reached six finals overall in 2017. They lifted the title at Alya Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, the Internationaux de Strasbourg and the Aegon Classic Birmingham, while were finalists at Roland Garros, the Aegon International Eastbourne and the Connecticut Open in New Haven.
Their partnership began back in 2012, and having reached the final at Roland Garros earlier in 2017, the team have now reached the title match at each of the Grand Slams, finishing as runners-up at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open across 2013.
Dellacqua was forced to withdraw from the 2015 WTA Finals (having qualified with partner Yaroslava Shvedova) after suffering a concussion sustained at that year’s China Open in Beijing. Meanwhile Barty’s appearance at Singapore caps a dream return to the sport for the 21-year-old, who took a break from tennis after the 2014 US Open, and only returned in the summer of 2016.
The doubles teams of Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan and Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina have also qualified for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.