Coco Gauff ‘super excited’ to join WTA Finals field, Caroline Garcia also books Texas ticket

Seven players are left in the race for the remaining three places at the WTA Finals after Coco Gauff and Caroline Garcia punched their tickets to the season-ending event.

Aryna Sabalenka’s defeat to Liudmila Samsonova at the Guadalajara Open assured Gauff and Garcia of spots in the main draw for Fort Worth, Texas.

With Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula already assured of their places, only three places are still up for grabs for the showpiece tournament.

The seven players who are still in the race are Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina, Veronika Kudermetova, Maria Sakkari, Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko.

Gauff celebrated the news by reaching the third round of the WTA 1000 event in Mexico by defeating Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.

The American will be 18 years and 239 days old come the end of the WTA Finals meaning she will be the youngest player to compete at the event since Maria Sharapova in 2005 as the Russian was 18 and 208 days when she reached the semi-final.

“I’m just super excited,” the teenager, who also qualified for the doubles alongside Pegula, said.

“I wasn’t really thinking about it before the match, but I’m excited to join Jess [Pegula].”

Up next is Martina Trevisan after the Italian defeated Katerina Siniakova while the winner of that clash will face either Victoria Azarenka or Keys in the quarter-final.

Former world No 1 Azarenka advanced when top seed Paula Badosa retired with breathing problems while 6-2 down. The defeat also ended the Spaniard’s hopes of playing in the WTA Finals.

The 13th seeded Keys, meanwhile, overcame Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

“Madison is a great player, she’s been playing really well this season, she can beat anybody,” Azarenka said. “We actually played in practice a couple of weeks ago and she killed me.”

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is another player who is no longer in the race as the Kazakh player went down 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) against Pegula while 15th seed Belinda Bencic’s WTA Finals hopes are also over as the reigning Olympic champion suffered a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at the hands of former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.