ST PETERSBURG, Fla. – The WTA announced Thursday that World No.7 Maria Sakkari qualified for the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara, becoming the fifth singles player to secure her place at the crown-jewel event.
Sakkari joins Ashleigh Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova in the singles field, leaving three places remaining. In addition, five of the eight doubles teams have confirmed their spots in Guadalajara, including Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens, Nicole Melichar-Sanchez and Demi Schuurs, and Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai.
Sakkari is set to make her debut appearance at the WTA Finals and ensured qualification courtesy of her win over Anna Kalinskaya on Thursday at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Sakkari made history by becoming the first Greek woman to qualify for the year-end finale.
Sakkari made her Grand Slam breakthrough this season by reaching the final four at both Roland Garros and US Open, where she defeated three Top 20 ranked opponents at both events. Overall, she has seven Top 10 wins across 2021, including posting the best win of her career, over No.2 Naomi Osaka during her semifinal run at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
In addition, Sakkari reached her third career final this season, at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open as well as the semifinal stage at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open and the Grampians Trophy (Melbourne). Following her runner-up finish at Ostrava, she broke into the WTA Top 10 for the first time in her career on Sept. 27, 2021 to become the first Greek woman to reach this ranking milestone.
Guadalajara is playing host to the season-ending tournament for this year only, with the event returning to its home in Shenzhen, China in 2022.
The 2021 WTA Finals features the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals – which includes 51 WTA tournaments and four Grand Slams, competing in a round-robin format with the singles champion lifting the WTA Finals Billie Jean King Trophy and the doubles champions earning the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.
The Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard is updated each Monday and can be found here.