Tennis: Swiatek, Badosa to make WTA Finals debut next month

Reuters

Posted at Oct 26 2021 09:32 AM

Iga Swiatek (POL) hits a shot against Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Iga Swiatek (POL) hits a shot against Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Poland's Iga Swiatek and Spaniard Paula Badosa will make their WTA Finals debut next month after booking their spots for the season-ending tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, the women's tour said on Monday.

Swiatek, last year's French Open champion, made at least the fourth round of each of the four majors in 2021 while also winning two WTA titles this season.

The 20-year-old will be the first Polish woman to play the WTA Finals since Agnieszka Radwanska in 2016.

Badosa, 23, has had a breakthrough season in 2021 and won titles in Belgrade and Indian Wells while also reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for her best Grand Slam performance.

Badosa has reached a career-high ranking of 13th and will be joined in the Nov. 10-17 tournament in Guadalajara by compatriot and two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza.

The Finals, contested by the world's top eight singles players and eight doubles teams, was moved out of China's Shenzhen after last year's event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova and Maria Sakkari had earlier qualified in the singles field but world number one Australian Ash Barty's withdrawal has opened up a spot.

Barty won the Finals when it was last held in Shenzhen in November 2019 but decided not to travel to Mexico due to quarantine issues on return in her country and to focus on the build-up to January's Australian Open.

The final spot for Guadalajara is set to be a shootout between Tunisian Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who won the WTA 500 event in Moscow on Sunday.

World number eight Jabeur is ahead in the race but an elbow injury forced her to withdraw from her opening match in the Kremlin Cup and next week's Courmayeur Ladies Open in Italy. 

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge)