Petra Kvitova qualifies for the WTA Finals
Photo: WTA

A stellar start to 2019 was enough to seal Petra Kvitova’s spot at the prestigious year-ending WTA Finals, which is held in Shenzhen for the first time in its tournament’s history. A return to a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2014, and her first outside Wimbledon, saw Kvitova challenging for the number one spot at the start of the year before injury plagued the Czech. 

Amidst Kvitova’s struggles which started in May, she will compete for the Billie Jean King trophy, hoping to replicate her success from 2011 when she made her debut at the tournament in Istanbul. Always a huge threat when in form, Kvitova is one of the title favourites in Shenzhen.

The two-time Wimbledon champion went on an 11-match winning streak in January, defending her Sydney title and reaching the Australian Open final. Seven quarterfinals in her first nine tournaments of the year was an impressive feat, but a left forearm injury sustained at the French Open forced her to miss the second Major of the year and the grass-court preparation events.

Kvitova had an emotional Australian Open run | Photo: Michael Dodge
Kvitova had an emotional Australian Open run | Photo: Michael Dodge

Kvitova seemed to have regained her momentum recently, reaching her first quarterfinals since May in Wuhan and Beijing consecutively, beating nemesis Sloane Stephens and top-10 player Belinda Bencic in the process. Heading into Shenzhen with a 36-12 win-loss record, Kvitova will look to capitalize on the fast indoor courts to her advantage.

Other qualified players include Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep.