Greece tennis ace Maria Sakkarihas put her qualification chances for the 2023 WTA Finals under threat with her over-participation in the WTA 250 tournaments. Sakkari boosted her chances with a title win in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a semifinal qualification in Tokyo. Sakkari is placed at No.9 currently on the WTA Finals leaderboard and has two more tournaments to bolster her chances.
At the China Open (a WTA 1000 tournament) where Sakkari has been given a bye in the first round and will open her campaign against Linda Fruhvirtova, she needs to reach the semifinals to keep her hopes alive of qualifying for her third consecutive WTA Finals. A final qualification will ensure a spot in the Top 8 for the Greek.
However, if Maria Sakkari fails to go deep in Beijing, she will have one more shot during the Zhengzhou Open (a WTA 500 tournament) next week. If the Greek fails to win a title there as well, she will miss out on a spot as Sakkari will not have any tournament left to take part in. She has already played 21 tournaments and has reached her maximum number of WTA 250 tournaments as a Top 10 player.
Sakkari currently has 3130 points to her credit and is behind Ons Jabeur by 465 points. She has a chance to pip Jabeur who bowed out of the WTA 1000 tournament after losing to Marta Kostyuk in the second round.
Who all have already qualified for the 2023 WTA Finals?
Talking about the players who have already qualified for the 2023 WTA Finals, Jessica Pegula was the latest entrant. Pegula is the fifth player to qualify for the year-end tournament set to be played in Mexico. The other four players are Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff, and Elena Rybakina. This means there are three more spots up for grabs.
For the three left spots, Marketa Vondrousova who won the Japan Open beating Pegula, Karolina Muchova, Ons Jabeur, and Maria Sakkari are fighting a tight battle. While Jabeur and Sakkari have a fair distance in terms of points, Muchova and Vondrousova are separated by just 11 points. Interestingly, while Muchova withdrew from the WTA 1000 tournament, Vondrousova was knocked out after losing to Anhelina Kalinina in the first round.
Also, Ons Jeabur getting knocked out has opened the door wide for Sakkari who will now aim to climb as high as she can in the leaderboard. The Greek has her best shot here in Beijing considering she has only one more tournament to play before the year-end tournament.
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