ST PETERSBURG, Fla. – The WTA announced Monday that Iga Swiatek, Garbiñe Muguruza and Paula Badosa have qualified for the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara.
The trio will join Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova and Maria Sakkari in the singles field, leaving one qualification place remaining following Ashleigh Barty’s withdrawal.
Five of the eight doubles teams have also confirmed their attendance in Guadalajara, which include 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.
Swiatek will be making her debut appearance at the WTA Finals and is the first Polish woman to qualify since Agnieszka Radwanska in 2016. She has won two titles this season, at the Adelaide International in February and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) on clay in May. Following her semifinal run at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open in September, she reached a new career-high ranking of No.4. Swiatek further boosted her qualification chances by consistent performances at all the Grand Slams, making at least the Round of 16 at each of the majors this year.
Muguruza is set to appear at the WTA Finals in singles for the fourth time, with her best result coming on her debut in 2015, where she posted a perfect 3-0 record in the group stage before falling to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals. She contested the group stage again in 2016 and 2017 and has also qualified in doubles twice with compatriot Carla Suárez Navarro, in 2014 and then again 2015 where the team finished as runners-up.
Muguruza has reached four finals across the 2021 season, lifting the title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (her biggest title since winning the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in 2017) and the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic. She kicked off the season in strong fashion with a runner-up finish at the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne in February and also reached the final at the Qatar Total Open in Doha.
Joining Swiatek in making her debut the WTA Finals this year is Spain’s Paula Badosa, and with compatriot Muguruza also appearing in Guadalajara, this marks the first time two Spanish women have qualified in singles in the same year since 2000 (Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario).
Badosa has enjoyed a breakout year in 2021, winning the biggest title of her career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this month and earning a new career-high ranking of No.13 in the process. She won her first WTA title in May at the Serbia Ladies Open in Belgrade and reached the semifinal stage at the Open 6ème Sens Métropole de Lyon, Credit One Charleston Open (including defeating World No.1 Barty in the quarterfinals) and at her home tournament at the Mutua Madrid Open. Badosa also posted her best Grand Slam result this season, reaching the last eight at Roland Garros.
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 50 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.