Does Eighth Place Guarantee You A Spot In Singapore?
The WTA season ending finale held in Singapore is fast approaching as the World’s top players battle it out to be the best. However does eighth place guarantee you a spot in Singapore?
The WTA season finale will take place on the 22nd of October in Singapore with eight of the best Female tennis players battling it out in a round robin format to decide who the best of the best really is. Now, normally the top eight players who have accumulated the most points qualify for the season ending finale. However this season has seen something different to previous years as Sloane Stephens won the US Open and is not currently ranked in the top eight places in the world. So does she have a direct entry into the season ending Championships and does she replace the eighth placed player?
Here is what the official rules say in Section 2A of the WTA rulebook:
‘The top seven (7) players in the Finals Rankings qualify for the WTA finals (each a “Finals Singles Qualified Player”). At its sole discretion and taking into account extraordinary circumstances, the WTA may select the eighth player for participation in the singles competition. If the WTA does not exercise its option to select the eighth player, the eighth player in the Finals Rankings will qualify for the WTA Finals as a Finals Singles Qualified Player”
To break this rule down, the top seven players in the Road To Singapore rankings qualify automatically, with the eight player potentially being given a wildcard in exceptional circumstances. So does winning a grand slam count as an exceptional circumstance. Well to think that Sloane Stephens was 926 in the world at the beginning of August and then to win a grand slam a month later must be a pretty exceptional circumstance.
The eight placed player is currently Johanna Konta as she holds a 900 point gap over 9th placed Kristina Mladenovic. However is her place in doubt due to this ruling? Does she or any of the other players know about this ruling and should the WTA do enough to promote this ruling?
Many fans will be quite confused should the WTA announce that Sloane Stephens gets a wildcard and therefore takes Johanna Konta’s place in Singapore. It is a subject that may have to be clarified on both ATP and WTA tours, should a grand slam winner get automatic qualification into the season ending finale’s?
It is an option worth considering as many players and fans may not be aware of this rule.