WTA Finals: Who qualified for the year
Maria Sakkari defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in a quarterfinal encounter that lasted over 2 and a half hours in Guadalajara on Friday. The match was intense and hard-fought, as it was not just a place in the semifinal that was at stake, but a direct shootout to fill the final remaining spot for the WTA Finals in Fort Worth starting October 31.
One way ticket to Fort Worth, Texas ✈️
No.4 seed @mariasakkari stays the course and punches her ticket to the @WTAFinals!#GDLOPENAKRON pic.twitter.com/JcAeMythhv
— wta (@WTA) October 22, 2022
Sakkari’s well-earned win picked up the final remaining spot, and here is a lowdown of each player that has qualified for the marquee season-ender of the women’s tour:
1. Iga Swiatek (Poland)
2022 Titles:8 (2 Grand Slams)
🏄♀️This is the best prize/trophy ever! Thank you San Diego for an amazing (cloudy😥) week and this unique vibe. I love it here.
And congrats @DonnaVekic for your amazing run! And sorry for waving my hands at the net. pic.twitter.com/SLwGiVM4zr
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) October 17, 2022
Swiatek’s 2022 season has been one of the most dominant on tour since the peak of Serena Williams, and there is little doubt that she will be the overwhelming favourite in Fort Worth.
2. Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Jabeur’s rise on the tour has been steady, and her two Grand Slam finals defeats have been equally heartbreaking. If it was not for Swiatek’s dominance, the Tunisian would be one of the favourites, but after a drop in form and match sharpness following the US Open, it will be a big ask.
3. Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus)
The power-hitting Belarusian has not had a memorable season by any stretch of the imagination and needed other results to go her way to qualify for the year-end Finals despite being the top 5 of the rankings. Her raw power and aggression can cause upsets, but it is unlikely it can inspire a title charge.
4. Jessica Pegula (United States)
Pegula has been one of the more consistent performers of the second half of 2022, and quick surfaces like the one in Fort Worth are very well-suited to her game. Expectations will be high of the home-favourite.
5. Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Win-Loss:36-21 (till Guadalajara QF)
Her last-minute qualification may not inspire much confidence, but Sakkari has the kind of game that does not necessarily need momentum behind it to go all the way. She’s vying for the title in Guadalajara, and may plot another deep run at the Finals.
6. Coco Gauff (United States)
Her breakthrough into the top 10, as well as a first Grand Slam final at the French Open, has led to Gauff climbing into the WTA Finals in a memorable season that has also seen her achieve doubles glory. Gauff’s measured game can be a match for anyone, but the 18-year-old has to prove if she has the mental edge to go all the way in the familiar conditions of Fort Worth.
7. Daria Kasatkina (Russia)
After showing a lot of promise during the European clay summer, Kasatkina’s season has fallen away a little towards the end. Her last title did come in August, and she has more than proven that she can go all the way – her ability to convert going deep into tournaments to a title may well give her an edge.Advertisement Top Sports News Now
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8. Caroline Garcia (France)
Garcia’s meteoric rise up the rankings took place primarily thanks to her triumph at the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati, which was followed by a run to the US Open semifinal. This being her first Finals appearance though, causing another upset seems unlikely.