Former US Open champ Stephens qualifies for first WTA Finals

Sloane Stephens is the sixth player to qualify for this year’s WTA Finals. (AFP pic)

SINGAPORE: Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens has qualified for her first season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, the WTA Tour said on Monday.

Stephens joins fellow Grand Slam champions Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitová, and Caroline Wozniacki in the singles field for the October 21-28 event.

Two spots remain open for the elite eight-player field, with Elina Svitolina and Karolina Plíšková in prime position to qualify for the round-robin tournament that offers US$7 million (RM29 million) in prize money.

“I’m honoured to qualify for my first WTA Finals,” said Stephens, who was runner-up to Halep at Roland Garros earlier this year. “I’m looking forward to … competing against the best players of the season.”

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

Stephens won her first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2017 but was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Anastasija Sevastova this year.

Osaka won the US Open, while Kerber won Wimbledon and Wozniacki clinched the Australian Open title this year.