St. Petersburg, Florida: Four-time and defending champion Serena Williams is the first player to qualify for the year-ending WTA Finals to be held in Singapore Oct 17-26, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced Saturday.
The top eight women's singles and women's doubles players and pairs qualify for the week long event, this time to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In August, the 32-year-old American Serena captured her fifth title of the season in Cincinnati, bringing her career titles count to 62. So far in 2014, Williams has won four hard court titles at Brisbane, Miami, Stanford and Cincinnati and emerged victorious in Rome to secure her 11th career clay court crown.
The World No.1 has won five or more titles in a season for the third consecutive year and has held the top ranking since Feb 18 last year.
Set to return to the WTA Finals for the ninth time (2001-02, 2004, 2007-09, 2012-14), the American has raised the Billie Jean King Trophy in her last three appearances (2009, 2012-13) and on her debut in 2001. She also boasts two runner-up finishes (2002, 2004).
“The WTA Finals is the ultimate goal of the season and I am excited to be back for another year and defend my title. I am looking forward to going to Singapore and competing against the best players in the world,” she said.