ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA -- The WTA announced today that Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, and the doubles team of Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan 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.
Halep and Andreescu become the third and fourth singles players, respectively, to clinch a spot at the year-end event, joining Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova in Shenzhen, China.
Halep has enjoyed another standout season on the WTA Tour in 2019, highlighted by her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, hitting just three unforced errors in the championship match against Serena Williams. The Romanian also contested the title matches at the Qatar Total Open (Doha) and the Mutua Madrid Open earlier in the year and posted a semifinal run at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
This season marks Halep’s sixth consecutive qualification for the WTA’s season-ending showpiece event, although 2019 will be her fifth appearance, having been forced to withdraw from last year’s tournament due to a back injury. On her debut in 2014, Halep reached the final, defeating then-World No.1 Serena Williams in the group stage before falling to the American in the championship match.
"It is such an honor to qualify for the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen," said Halep. "It is always a goal of mine each season to qualify and I'm excited to play the event this year. I have been to Shenzhen before so I'm looking forward to being back in front of the great fans there."
Andreescu is set to make her debut appearance at the year-end finale following a breakthrough season that saw her lift three WTA singles titles, including her first Grand Slam at the US Open to become the first Canadian player – male or female – to win a major singles title. She also picked up trophies at the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and on home soil at the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank (Toronto), becoming the first Canadian to clinch the Rogers Cup title in 50 years.
At 19 years old, Andreescu becomes the youngest player to qualify for the year-end finale since Caroline Wozniacki (19) in 2009. She also becomes the fourth Canadian woman in history to compete at the WTA Finals, and first since Eugenie Bouchard in 2014 (also Helen Kelesi, 1988-89, and Carling Bassett-Seguso, 1984-85).
"This has been an incredible year for me and I’m really looking forward to ending the season at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen," said Andreescu. “I’ve always dreamt of competing at the WTA Finals and I’m so proud of all the work my team and I put in to get to this point."
Canada’s Dabrowski and China’s Xu will make their third consecutive appearance as a team at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen after another successful season, lifting the title at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup Cup (Nürnberg) and reaching their maiden Grand Slam doubles final at Wimbledon.
In addition, Dabrowski and Xu finished runners-up at the WTA Premier Mandatory level Mutua Madrid Open, as well as reached a further four semifinals in 2019, at the Brisbane International, BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart) and the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank (Toronto).
“It’s an honor to have made the year-end championships for the third time in a row, and to have another opportunity to compete against the best in the world,” said Dabrowski. “We are especially pleased that doubles will have the same round robin format as singles, and we are looking forward to a great final week of tennis.”
Xu added, “To be able to play in such an amazing event in front of my home fans is a dream come true. Shenzhen is an incredible city and we can’t wait to take to the court there and hopefully lift the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 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 53 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 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!