Lucie Safarova has become the final qualifier for the WTA Finals in Singapore. Despite her early exit at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, the Czech number two clinched her spot after Carla Suarez Navarro, the last woman mathematically possible who could have clinched a spot, lost in her quarterfinal match 1-6, 2-6 to Daria Kasatkina. With that, the eight women field is set and the draw for the two round robin groups will be made on Friday.
Safarova’s Season Review
It was not the best of starts for Safarova as she failed to pick up a win in her first two events, Sydney and the Australian Open. She finally picked up her first win in Antwerp (defeated Kristina Mladenovic) but lost in her following match. The lefty put together a string of wins for the first time in Dubai as she made the quarterfinals. In the following week at Doha, she picked up her first title of the season as she defeated five top-tier players, including Victoria Azarenka in the final, en route to the title.
Most of the clay season for Safarova resembled much of Flavia Pennetta’s North American hard court season. Other than a quarterfinals showing in Madrid, it was quite a difficult time for Safarova to get results on clay. However, it all turned around at the French Open. Safarova shocked French Open favorite Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and worked her way to the final where she met world number one Serena Williams. The lefty provided Serena quite a battle, coming from behind in the second set to win it, but she would eventually fall short as she lost in three.
At Wimbledon, she was nearly upset in the first round by American Alison Riske, but it was another American, Coco Vandeweghe, who provided the upset as she took out last year’s semifinalist in two tiebreaks. On the Emirates US Open Series, Safarova continued her fantastic play. She was a quarterfinalist in Cincinnati and a finalist in New Haven but failed to translate that success at Flushing Meadows where she lost in the first round to Lesia Tsurenko. Illness and injury struck Safarova preventing her from playing on the Asian swing.
This is the first-time Safarova has qualified for the WTA Finals. She will be competing in both singles and doubles in Singapore as her and her partner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, qualified for the event as well and are one of the favorites behind Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis.