An unfortunate news broke out yesterday evening as Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova announced their withdrawal from the year-end WTA Finals, which is just a mere 10 days away. Hradecka and Siniakova was previously the fourth pair to qualify for the prestigious tournament, but the unfortunate and untimely injury kicked in just when the pair were to make their first appearance at the WTA Finals as a pair.
Excellent season thus far
Hradecka and Siniakova only started to pair up this year, and they reached multiple finals throughout their impressive season. Reaching the final in Taipei City in just their second tournament together, the Czechs started to solidify their status as one of the best pairings in the world. They followed it up with an excellent run to the final of Indian Wells, defeating Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina along the way.
Their second Grand Slam together saw them storm to the semifinals at the French Open, ousting Makarova/Vesnina once again. After a disappointing grass court season, Hradecka and Siniakova came out of nowhere to record the best result of their partnership, reaching the final of the US Open despite coming into Flushing Meadows on a three-match losing streak.
Hradecka suffered the knee injury in Wuhan, where she was forced to retire in her first-round qualifying match against Monica Puig at 4-4 in the first set. The injury was extremely serious, with the Czech having to be on crutches for a couple of days after the match.
Initially, Hradecka hoped that she was able to get ready in time for the WTA Finals, but the injury was more serious than it was thought to be. “Before we started a new partnership with Katka this year, we set qualifying for WTA Finals as our main goal for the season. We both were absolutely excited to qualify, so I’m gutted that we won’t be there,” mentioned Hradecka in a Facebook post last night.
Although they were forced to withdraw from the prestigious tournament, it has been an incredible year for Hradecka and Siniakova, who managed to reach a Major final and a semifinal appearance at the French Open, adding on to four tour-level finals reached throughout the year.
Hradecka ended the Facebook post on a positive note, mentioning that “I hope I will be able to recover, get ready for next year and try to qualify together again!”
Implications on the field
Hradecka and Siniakova’s withdrawal means that there are now two spots up for grabs in Singapore. Currently, Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez are almost guaranteed a spot, with Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson following close behind. It was Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai who originally would have a higher chance of qualifying, but their injury struggles have almost certainly ended their season, and Bertens/Larsson would overtake them with another win at the ongoing Upper Austria Ladies Linz.