SINGAPORE - World No.1 Serena Williams and No.2 Angelique Kerber have secured the first two singles qualifications for this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
"Congratulations to Serena and Angelique on once again qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global," said WTA CEO Steve Simon. "These two athletes are incredible ambassadors for the sport and we look forward to them showcasing their best tennis in Singapore this October. Serena continues to break records and add to her already extraordinary career, while Angie is having the best year of her career so far and has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars of the tour. They are both fan-favorites and their passion and energy on court will be sure to electrify the Sports Hub."
Williams has amassed an impressive 29-6 record at the year-end finale, winning five singles titles from seven appearances at the WTA Finals. The 34-year-old has claimed the Billie Jean King Trophy on each of her most recent four outings, including three successive victories from 2012 to 2014. This year will mark Williams' 10th career appearance at the tournament.
"I'm very proud and excited to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore," said Serena. "I have great memories of winning the title in Singapore in 2014 and being supported by so many fans. I can't wait to be back in Singapore later this year to hopefully win my sixth Billie Jean King Trophy."
The World No.1 has spent the majority of the season on top of the Road to Singapore Leaderboard, claiming her 70th and 71st career singles titles by winning the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome and successfully defending her Wimbledon crown. In addition, she reached a further three singles finals at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, bringing her win-loss record so far this season to 33-5. Her triumph at the All England Club was especially poignant, with her seventh Wimbledon title equaling Stefanie Graf's Open Era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Her results this season have seen Williams extend her reign as the WTA's World No.1 player, having now held the top spot for 307 weeks over the course of her career, sitting behind only Graf (377) and Martina Navratilova (332).
Fresh off her runner-up at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Kerber has secured her fourth appearance at the WTA Finals. Her first two appearances at the event were in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2012 and 2013 - highlighted by her win over then-No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska - followed by last year's showing in Singapore, where she beat eventual runner-up Petra Kvitova in the round-robin stage.
This year Kerber will be bidding to advance to the semifinals for the first time, after being only one set away from doing so in 2015.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kerber has enjoyed her best season yet, compiling a 47-14 record, and reaching a career-high ranking of No.2 after clinching her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. She also defended her title in front of a home crowd at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart for her ninth career singles crown. In addition, the German reached four more finals so far this season: her second Grand Slam final at Wimbledon (falling to Williams in a re-match of the Australian Open final), a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, the Brisbane International, and Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
"I'm so happy to have qualified for the WTA Finals Singapore for the fourth time," said Kerber. "It is one of the most important events of the year and we all fight to qualify in the Top 8. I have great memories from my other experiences at the tournament and I hope to play some great matches and win the title."
Serena Williams (USA) - Qualified
Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza (SUI/IND) - Qualified
Angelique Kerber (GER) - Qualified
Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic (FRA/FRA)
Simona Halep (ROU)
Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina (RUS/RUS)
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP)
Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan (TPE/TPE)
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
Timea Babos /Yaroslava Shvedova (HUN/KAZ)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE/CZE)
Madison Keys (USA)
Julia Goerges/Karolina Pliskova (GER/CZE)
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)
Xu Yifan/Zheng Saisai (CHN/CHN)
Johanna Konta (GBR)
Raquel Atawo/Abigail Spears (USA/USA)
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Venus Williams/Serena Williams (USA/USA)