ST PETERSBURG (US), Sept 11 (IANS): The Women�s Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Thursday that Maria Sharapova has qualified for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, to be staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 17-26.
�I am really excited to qualify for the WTA Finals and to bring the best in women�s tennis to Singapore,� said Sharapova, who is the second player to qualify for the singles competition, joining Serena Williams. The remaining six positions will be determined during the final weeks of the season.
�Qualifying for the WTA Finals is the ultimate season-long goal and we are excited to have a world-class athlete in Maria Sharapova competing for the Billie Jean King Trophy,� said WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster.
�The fans in Singapore will be able to witness first-hand the best-of-the best competing head-to-head as each match has the energy and feel of a final.�
The 27-year-old Russian won three titles this year, highlighted by a stellar clay-court season in which she posted a 19-1 match record en route to titles at the Porsche Grand Prix (Stuttgart), Mutua Madrid Open and Roland Garros, her fifth career Grand Slam title.
This season marks the 12th consecutive year that Sharapova has won at least one singles title, a streak that dates back to 2003 and currently stands as the fourth best in WTA history. She is set to return to the WTA Finals for the first time since 2012, and is a former champion, having won the event on her debut in 2004 and finished runner-up in 2007 and 2012.
The 2014 WTA Finals will feature the top eight singles players competing in a round-robin event, while the top eight doubles teams will be competing in a single-elimination draw.