ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA -- The WTA announced today that Petra Kvitova and the doubles pairings of Latisha Chan / Chan Hao-Ching and Samantha Stosur / Zhang Shuai have qualified for the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, set to take place from October 27 through November 3 for a record-breaking $14 million in prize money.
Kvitova becomes the sixth of eight singles players to clinch a spot at the year-end event, joining Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, and Naomi Osaka.
The Chan sisters and Stosur/Zhang become the fifth and sixth doubles teams, respectively, to earn their spots in Shenzhen following Hsieh Su-Wei / Barbora Strycova, Elise Mertens / Aryna Sabalenka, Timea Babos / Kristina Mladenovic, and Gabriela Dabrowski / Xu Yifan.
Kvitova has secured her place at the prestigious season finale following two WTA titles in 2019, at the Sydney International and Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart). Additionally, she finished as runner-up at the Australian Open - her third career Grand Slam final, and first since 2014 Wimbledon - and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The Czech will make her seventh appearance at the WTA’s season-ending showpiece event, which ranks fourth among active players. On her debut in 2011, she went undefeated through the round-robin stage, overcoming Samantha Stosur in the semifinal before defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final, making her one of only four players to win the WTA Finals on their first outing. Kvitova reached the final again in 2015, falling to Agnieszka Radwanska in the championship match.
"I'm so happy to qualify for the Shiseido WTA Finals in Shenzhen," said Kvitova. "After a great start to the year in Australia I'm really proud to have secured my spot for the seventh time. This will be the third city I have visited for the WTA Finals so I'm excited to see what's in store in Shenzhen."
After a two-year break from their partnership, the Chan sisters started 2019 where they left off, beginning the season with a runner-up finish at the Brisbane International followed by a title sweep at the Hobart International. They went on to lift three more titles together this year, at the Qatar Total Open (Doha), Nature Valley International (Eastbourne) and the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Osaka), marking the first time the sisters have lifted four doubles titles in a single season as a team.
Read more: ‘Playing with your sibling is not that easy’: How the Chans found common ground
The Chan sisters will arrive in Shenzhen for their third team showing at the WTA Finals. On their debut in 2015, they became the third all-sister pair to qualify for the doubles event after Manuela and Katerina Maleeva in 1986 and Serena and Venus Williams in 2009. During their debut, they advanced to the semifinal stage before falling to the eventual champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza. The following year, the duo returned to the WTA Finals, bowing out in the opening round.
This will mark the fifth year that Latisha Chan will compete at the WTA Finals, where she will aim to surpass her previous two semifinal appearances, having reached the final four in 2007 with Chuang Chia-Jung and in 2015 with her sister Chan Hao-Ching. For Chan Hao-Ching, this will be her third WTA Finals appearance, having only competed at the year-end event with her sister Latisha Chan in 2015 and 2016.
“It’s been great playing with my sister again after taking a break for a couple years,” said Latisha Chan. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work this season, and to see it pay off in this way, allowing us to make our return to the WTA Finals, is really amazing.”
Chan Hao-Ching added, “I’m excited to qualify for the WTA Finals for the third time with my sister. I have good memories from 2015 and 2016 and we are looking forward to playing our best tennis in front of the Shenzhen crowd.”
Stosur and Zhang are set to make their team debut at the WTA Finals following a standout season, highlighted by capturing their maiden Grand Slam doubles title as a pair at the Australian Open. The Australian-Chinese duo also advanced to the championship match at the Miami Open presented by Itaú and made the quarterfinals at the Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) and Roland Garros to help secure their spot in Shenzhen.
Stosur will return to the WTA Finals as a two-time doubles champion, lifting the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy alongside Lisa Raymond in 2005 and 2006, and will make her first showing in doubles since qualifying in 2009 with her compatriot Rennae Stubbs. She also competed in the singles field at the WTA Finals from 2010-2012, reaching back-to-back semifinals in 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, this year will mark Zhang’s first appearance at the year-end finale.
“I’m very happy to return to the WTA Finals after quite some time,” said Stosur. “I have great memories from this event, in singles and doubles, and I’m looking forward to competing in Shenzhen with my good friend Shuai.”
Time for a 🤳 @wuhanopentennis ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7WBYdjc0oZ
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) September 23, 2019
The 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen features the world’s best players vying for a record-breaking US$14 million in prize money and two of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. The Top 8 singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen – which includes 52 WTA tournaments and four Grand Slams – will compete in a round-robin format with the singles champion lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy and the doubles champions earning the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.
The winner of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen - the singles player who finishes in pole position leading into the WTA Finals - will not only seal a spot at the season-ending showpiece, but also be congratulated with a new Porsche. The Porsche Race to Shenzhen Leaderboard is updated each Monday (every two weeks during Grand Slams events) and can be found at www.ShiseidoWTAFinalsShenzhen.com.
Tickets to the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen are on sale at www.ShiseidoWTAFinalsShenzhen.com!