WTA Finals Qualifiers: From Aryna Sabalenka’s early qualification to Anett Kontaveit’s last-gasp effort

Aryna Sabalenka lifts the Madrid Open trophy

The 2021 women’s tennis season will come to a conclusion with the prestigious WTA Finals at the Panamerican Tennis Centre in Guadalajara. Here we look at the eight players who have a ticket to Mexico.

The traditional season-ending event will run from November 10-17 and will feature the eight best players over the calendar year with their positions determined by the number of points they accumulated over the 12 months.

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty was due to be the top seed, but the Wimbledon champion withdrew leaving Aryna Sabalenka as the leader of the pack.

1. Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka lifts the Madrid Open trophy

World No 2 Sabalenka booked her spot in tournament in September and her place came on the back of winning the Madrid Open and Abu Dhabi Open while she also finished runner-up in Stuttgart. She also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon and US Open and finished with 4,768 points.

2. Barbora Krejcikova

Barbora Krejcikova enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2021 as she won her maiden WTA Tour title at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. However, bigger things were to come as she followed it up with a first Grand Slam trophy, the French Open at Roland Garros. A third title, the Prague Open, saw her claim the second spot behind Sabalenka with 4,518 points.

3. Karolina Pliskova

The Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova with the Wimbledon runner-up trophy

Former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova didn’t win a singles trophy in 2021. Her ticket to Mexico came on the back of finishing runner-up to Barty at Wimbledon. She also appeared in the finals of the Italian Open and Canadian Open. Pliksova will make her fifth consecutive appearance at the WTA Finals after collecting 4,036 points.

4. Maria Sakkari

Greek Maria Sakkari attends the post-match celebrations at the Ostrava Open

Like Pliskova, Sakkari also didn’t win a tournament in 2021, but the Greek qualified on the back of reaching the semi-finals of the French Open, Wimbledon and the Miami Open with 3,341 points earning her position four.

5. Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek from Poland celebrates after winning the Italian Open
2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek qualified for the event on the back of winning Adelaide International and Italian Open. She picked up 3,226 points having also reached the quarter-final at Roland Garros.

6. Garbine Muguruza

Spain's Garbine Muguruza with the Dubai Championships trophy

Two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza will make a fourth appearance at the season-ending tournament. Most of her 3,195 points came from her title wins at the Dubai Championships and the Chicago Fall Classic .

7. Paula Badosa

Spain's Paula Badosa delighted after winning the BNP Paribas Open title

Spain’s Badosa also enjoyed a breakthrough year as she won her maiden title at the Belgrade Open and she followed it up with the BNP Paribas Open trophy. Badosa, who accumulated 3,112 points, also reached the quarter-final of the French Open.

8. Anett Kontaveit

Estonia's Anett Kontaveit with the Transylvania Open trophy

Estonian Kontaveit produced a last-gasp effort to edge Ons Jabeur for the final spot. Her incredible finish to the year saw her win titles in Cleveland, Ostrava, Kremlin and Romania as she finished with 3,096 points.