There isn’t just one big announcement in the Porsche Race to Shenzhen this week, but two: Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu have both qualified for the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, joining Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova in the exclusive, eight-player season-ending event.
The announcement was made as play got underway Monday at the China Open. Halep won her opening match at the Premier Mandatory event on Sunday, 6-1, 6-1 over Rebecca Peterson, before losing on Monday to Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-2, 6-3.
“It is such an honor to qualify for the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen,” said Halep, who won the second Grand Slam title of her career at Wimbledon this year, with her first coming at last year’s French Open. “It is always a goal of mine each season to qualify and I’m excited to play the event this year. I have been to Shenzhen before so I’m looking forward to being back in front of the great fans there.”
Andreescu, who won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open this year, defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Monday, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.
“I’m really looking forward to ending the season at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen,” Andreescu said. “I’ve always dreamt of competing at the WTA Finals and I’m so proud of all the work my team and I put in to get to this point.”
For Halep, qualifying for the WTA Finals is nothing new; this will be her fifth time playing the event. Her best previous result was reaching the final in 2014 when she scored a stunning, 6-0, 6-2 win over then-No. 1 Serena Williams in the round-robin stage. Four days later, in the final, Williams flipped the script on Halep, winning 6-3, 6-0.
The Romanian, who sat out last year’s WTA Finals with a back injury, has a 6-8 record at the event.
Andreescu, meanwhile, will be playing the WTA Finals for the first time in her career after an absolute breakthrough 2019, starting the year ranked No. 152 and currently at No. 6. She’s won three of the biggest hard-court tournaments of the year at Indian Wells, Toronto, and the US Open. Her triumph at Flushing Meadows made her the first Canadian player ever, male or female, to win a Grand Slam singles title.
She comes into Beijing this week feeling fresh, having skipped last week’s event in Wuhan. Read More