Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina add names to WTA Finals flight leaving only one more ticket available

Celebrations from Aryna Sabalenka

Seven of the eight spots available for the WTA Finals have been filled after Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina became the latest players to book their tickets to Fort Worth, Texas.

Maria Sakkari and Veronika Kudermetova will face-off for the final spot of the season-ending tournament on Friday after they both kept their hopes alive with third-round wins at the Guadalajara Open.

Fourth seed Sakkari overcame a first-set loss to defeat American Danielle Collins 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 while Kudermetova ended Jelena Ostapenko’s WTA Finals loss with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

“It was meant to be. It was meant for me and Veronika to be in that spot, fighting each other to get that last spot,” Sakkari said after her win. “I believe we’re both going to be very motivated to get it.

“I think it’s going to be nice for tennis in general, for women’s tennis and for the spectators.”

Their wins, coupled with Madison Keys’ defeat to Victoria Azarenka, meant Sabalenka and Kasatkina secured their spots despite losing. Sabalenka lost in the second round on Wednesday while seventh seed Kasatkina suffered a 2-6, 6-2, 3-6 defeat at the hands of Anna Kalinskaya on Thursday.

World No 73 Kalinskaya will face Marie Bouzkova for a place in the semi-final after the Czech overcame Liudmila Samsonova 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Sabalenka, who will play in the season-ending tournament for the second time following her debut last year, secured her spot on the back of finishing runner-up in Stuttgart and Rosmalen while she also reached the semi-final of the US Open.

Kasatkina won the Silicon Valley Classic and the Championnats de Granby while she was also a semi-finalist at the French Open.

The duo will join Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff and Caroline Garcia in the singles main draw.

The loser of the Sakkari-Kudermetova clash will be the first alternate for the WTA Finals while Keys will be the second alternate.

World No 6 Sakkari added: “We both have good seasons. That’s why we’re fighting for that spot. I don’t care what people say about my season that has been a roller coaster, but all I know is I’m still a Top 10 player. I’m still one of the two players that might get the last spot.”

Also on Thursday, third seed Jessica Pegula set up a quarter-final clash in Mexico against former US Open champion Sloane Stephens after defeating Bianca Andreescu 6-4, 6-4. Stephens, meanwhile, beat sixth seed Garcia 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.

The winner of that all-American quarter-final will face either Azarenka or Gauff in the semi-final after the latter defeated Martina Trevisan 6-0, 6-3.

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