Denpasar: Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm earned a place Friday in the Bali Tournament of Champions semi-finals when Belgian Yanina Wickmayer quit on news of her one-year ban for missing doping tests.
Wickmayer, the world number 18, was suspended Thursday by the Flemish Doping Tribunal (VDT) for failing three times to fulfill the controversial “whereabouts rule.”
Her withdrawal after the ban, which can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, put 39-year-old Date Krumm through. The Japanese veteran is the only Asian in the 12-woman field.
She was joined by Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, a winner over Australian second seed Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7/4), 7-5.
Israeli Shahar Peer and French top seed Marion Bartoli were battling in a winner-takes-all match later to claim the last place in the weekend field, with Bartoli hoping to join compatriot Arvane Rezai in the semis.
The field at the 600,000-dollar tournament comprises the 10 highest-ranking players who have won a WTA International title this year but who did not compete in the season-ending WTA Championships in Qatar, which finished Sunday.
Two wildcards are also included.
Australian Stosur, a doubles standout who is trying to fashion a top-level singles career after reaching the Roland Garros semis this season, was unable to capitalise against Martinez Sanchez in their group showdown at this tropical resort.
Stosur fired seven aces but was weighed down by six double-faults in a patchy serving effort.
The 25-year-old broke her Spanish opponent twice in the second set but dropped her own serve three times to eventually go down after a struggle of just over two hours.
Stosur was a late qualifier for the Bali field thanks to a title in Osaka, the first of her singles career.
Both women arrived in Bali at the last moment after competing in doubles at last week’s WTA Championships in Doha.
Martinez Sanchez won the doubles title with Nuria Llagostera Vives, the seventh of the season, while Stosur and Rennae Stubbs lost in the semi-finals to Cara Black and Liezel Huber.