Li qualifies for WTA Championships


China’s Li Na on Friday became the eighth and final player to qualify for the $4.9 million end-of-season grand finale after reaching the semi-finals of the China Open, organisers said. Li, 30, will line up at the WTA Championships in Istanbul from October 23 to 28 after defeating Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-2 in Beijing.
She will compete against Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani. Li made her Championships debut at Istanbul last year, where she bowed out in the round-robin stages. “In the last two years, I have played the best tennis of my career and I am excited to return to the WTA Championships again this year,” the 2011 French Open champion said. Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO, said of Li: “She is one of the WTA’s most popular players and will proudly represent her country, as she continues to inspire a generation of players in China.”
The organisers added that it would be the first time in the Championships’ 42-year history that each player in the singles’ draw came from a different country.