Caroline Garcia became the last player to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore after Johanna Konta was forced to withdraw from the Kremlin Cup with a foot injury.
The new #8 seed has had a remarkable run of form recently, becoming the first woman to win back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing. Her qualification, however, comes at the expense of the Konta who misses out on the WTA Finals at the last hurdle for the second year in a row. Nonetheless, despite her injury issues, Konta’s recent form has been poor. She has won a mere two competitive matches since her remarkable run to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, both of which came in Cincinnati.
Garcia’s story is a remarkable one. Previously a top doubles player, the 23-year-old has had her best year to date, with a record of 46 wins to 20 losses so far. Her best Grand Slam performance of the year came at the French Open, where she lost to an in-form Karolína Plíšková in two tight sets, and she reached at least the third round in all three of the other Slams.
The Frenchwoman’s meteoric rise to the top eight has seemingly come out of the blue. When she lost to Petra Kvitova in the third round of the US Open in August, she looked tired, dejected, and out of touch. Somehow, she has managed to completely turn her fortunes round, rising from 20th all the way to 8th in the world. Her example shows how important the East Asian hard court tournaments are in determining the outcome of a players’ season, especially on the wide-open women’s tour this year. Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Wozniacki are two players who have also benefited from good runs in East Asian hard court tournaments. Their respective titles in Seoul and Tokyo cemented their places among the world’s Top 8 players as the season slowly draws to its conclusion.
The final singles standings for the WTA Finals in Singapore are:
- Simona Halep
- Garbiñe Muguruza
- Karolína Plíšková
- Elina Svitolina
- Caroline Wozniacki
- Venus Williams
- Jelena Ostapenko
- Caroline Garcia
As the list above suggests, the eight-day tournament in Singapore, beginning on the 22nd October, should be one to remember. It will be a remarkable end to what has been a memorable year for women’s tennis, where the power vacuum left by Serena Williams from January has led to the establishment of a new guard of champions. It will be fascinating to see which one of them will come on top at the last illustrious WTA tournament of 2017.