MOSCOW, September 23 (R-Sport) – Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has formally qualified for the season-ending Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) championships despite her ongoing absence with a shoulder injury, the WTA confirmed Monday.
Sharapova and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska have both made it into next month’s tournament in Istanbul, open to the top eight players in the women’s rankings.
Even though third-ranked Sharapova has not played since last month’s US Open, other players’ results are now such that she and Radwanska cannot drop below eighth this year, according to Monday’s rankings.
Also qualifying was the world’s No. 1 doubles pair, Italy’s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who have a commanding lead at the top of the doubles rankings. Errani is also likely to qualify for the singles event.
"We are excited to add Maria, Agnieszka, Sara and Roberta to the … WTA Championships-Istanbul player field, although Maria continues to rehab from her injury," Stacey Allaster, the chair and chief executive of the WTA, said in a statement posted online. "We are less than a month away from the Championships and are eager to continue building towards what will be another sensational tournament for the fans in Istanbul and tennis fans around the world."
Six tournaments remain before the WTA championships, the highest-rated of them being the Pacific Open, which started in Tokyo on Sunday.