The races for the year-end championships on both tours are in the home stretch. In women’s tennis, the battle for the eighth and final spot in the WTA Finals has received a plot twist just before the finish line.
Ons Jabeur got injured in Moscow and decided to not play in the follow-up tournament in Courmayeur before the WTA Finals:
Kontaveit might not be the frontrunner, but she can win this week in Cluj and take that No. 8 spot. It is true that a berth in the WTA Finals is on her racquet. It will be tough, however, to win that title after Kontaveit just won in Moscow over the weekend.
Here is the bigger picture, however: Jabeur, who knows it is still likely that she will get the No. 8 spot in the WTA Finals, could simply be resting as a precaution. The bigger concern is that her injury could affect her ability to compete at the WTA Finals, in which case Kontaveit will become the eighth direct qualifier anyway.
Also: Let’s say Jabeur plays at the WTA Finals but her injury forces her to retire during or after her first match. Kontaveit would be first alternate and can step in and play at least two matches, which conceivably gives her a chance to make the semifinals. Alternates who play just one match, not two, have no shot at advancing to the semis.
Stay tuned for more plot twists on this story.
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