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WTA FINALS

Sloane Stephens qualifies for Singapore showdown

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Stephens joins fellow Grand Slam champions such as Simona Halep in the singles field at the Sports Hub in Kallang.

Singapore

FORMER US Open champion Sloane Stephens has qualified for her first season-ending BNP WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global tournament, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said on Monday.

Stephens joins fellow Grand Slam champions Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki in the singles field for the prestigious event, which runs from Oct 21-28 at the Sports Hub in Kallang.

Just two spots remain open for the elite eight-player field, with Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova in prime position to qualify for the round-robin tournament that offers a record US$7 million in prize money.

"I'm honoured to qualify for my first WTA Finals," said Stephens, who was runner-up to Halep at the French Open earlier this year. "I'm looking forward to ... competing against the best players of the season."

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The 25-year-old American also won her first Premier-level event in Miami earlier this year and rose to a career-high ranking of three in July. She was also a runner-up in Montreal.

Stephens won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2017 but was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Anastasija Sevastova this year.

Osaka won the US Open, while Kerber won Wimbledon and Wozniacki clinched the Australian Open title this year. The top eight singles players will compete in a round-robin format with the winner taking home the Billie Jean King Trophy, while the top eight doubles teams will compete in a knock-out format for the Martina Navratilova Trophy. REUTERS

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