Singapore WTA door opens for Brit Konta
Photo Source: EPA
The not-unexpected injury pullout of Serena Williams from next week's WTA Finals could open the door for Johanna Konta - if the Briton can recover in time from an abdominal strain.
Konta, finalist at the China Open in Beijing, quit before a second-round match last week in Hong Kong with her problems and is not playing in this week's last events of the regular season before the Sunday start of the eight-woman finals.
Konta moved into the provisional eighth spot in the field, with her participation entirely depending on her fitness.
But her position could be tenuous depending on results this week.
If Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro or Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, standing 10th and 11th in the race to Singapore, win the tournament in Moscow, Konta will be reduced to the role of an alternate.
Williams, who has not played since losing a US Open semi-final for the second year in a row, claimed a shoulder injury as official reason for her withdrawal.
The 35-year-old has spent her time since September involved in fashion shows, a Beyonce video and concert and a trip to Disneyland.
Williams won the year-ender in 2001, then added another in 2009 before claiming a hat-trick 2012-2014.
She also pulled out last year.
Williams said in a statement: "I am really, really bombed that I won't be able to compete. It has been a really tough year for me, just dealing with my shoulder injury.
"My doctor insists that I stay at home and heal it every single day so I can have a chance to play next year."