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Holder Wozniacki, Kvitova book WTA Finals berths

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By Reuters
Holder Wozniacki, Kvitova book WTA Finals berths
Tennis - China Open - Women's Singles - Second Round - National Tennis Center, Beijing, China - October 3, 2018. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action against Petra Martic of Croatia. REUTERS/Thomas Peter   -   Copyright  THOMAS PETER(Reuters)

(Reuters) – WTA Finals holder Caroline Wozniacki and former champion Petra Kvitova have clinched places in this month’s season-ending tournament in Singapore, the WTA announced on Thursday.

The pair join world number one Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka who have already qualified for the Oct. 21-28 tournament at the Singapore Sports Hub.

“Winning the WTA Finals last year was a huge accomplishment for me and helped my confidence leading into this season,” Wozniacki, who won the Australian Open in January, said.

“I look forward to coming back to Singapore to try and defend my title,” the 28-year-old Dane added.

Wozniacki secured her the spot after a routine 7-5 6-4 win against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit at the China Open in Beijing on Thursday.

Czech Kvitova, who won the WTA Finals title in 2011, has qualified for the first time since suffering career-threatening injuries to her left playing hand after a 2016 stabbing that kept her out for six months.

Kvitova, who lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 2011 and 2014, required surgery after trying to protect herself from a man wielding a knife who gained access to her apartment.

“It will be my first time back there (the WTA Finals) since I came back to tennis so it means a lot to me and has always been one of my big goals for the season,” Kvitova, who has won five titles this season, said.

The top eight singles players at the $7 million prize money event will compete in a round-robin format with the winner taking home the Billie Jean King Trophy.

The top eight doubles teams will compete for the Martina Navratilova Trophy.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)