Kiki Bertens has to do everything in his power to win a ticket for the WTA Finals in the coming weeks. This is all you need to know about the prestigious New Year's Eve tournament, which is being held in Shenzhen, China from October 27 through November 3.

Who qualify for the WTA Finals?

Only the best eight tennis players in the world are invited to the WTA Finals, the traditional closing of the tennis season. This is not about the current STA ranking, but purely about the number of points achieved this year.

To determine the rankings on that ranking, the best results from a maximum of sixteen tournaments are considered. The results at the four Grand Slams, the four Premier League Mandatory tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing) and the two best results at one of the Premier 5 tournaments are included anyway.

At the moment only the Australian Ashleigh Barty and the Czech Karolína Plísková are sure to participate in the WTA Finals. The 27-year-old Bertens currently occupies tenth position in the annual ranking and would therefore be left out at the moment, but the battle for a place in the top eight is not over yet.

Kiki Bertens participated in the WTA Finals for the first time last year. (Photo: Pro Shots)

What should Bertens do for a ticket?

The Swiss Belinda Bencic (number nine on the annual ranking list) and the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (number eight) are currently Bertens' main competitors. There are three more important tournaments where points can be taken for the annual ranking: those in Wuhan (this week), Beijing (September 28-October 6) and Moscow (October 14-20).

Many points can be earned especially at the Beijing tournament, as the event has a Premier Mandatory status. That also means that the result in Beijing counts for the annual ranking anyway.

Not unimportant: Serena Williams, the current number six on the annual ranking, will probably no longer compete in the WTA Finals. The 37-year-old American will therefore no longer win points and therefore risks falling out of the top ten. Simona Halep is again struggling with a back injury.

Current position on year ranking

  • 1. Ashleigh Barty (Aus) - 5,476 points
  • 2. Karolina Plísková (Tsj) - 5,256 points
  • 3. Simona Halep (Roe) - 4,792 points
  • 4. Bianca Andreescu (Can) - 4,727 points
  • 5. Naomi Osaka (Jap) - 4,246 points
  • 6. Serena Williams (USA) - 3,935 points
  • 7. Petra Kvitová (Tsj) - 3,836 points
  • 8. Belinda Bencic (Zwi) - 3,615 points
  • 9. Elina Svitolina (Oek) - 3,592 points
  • 10. Kiki Bertens (Ned) - 3,580 points

How special is participation in the WTA Finals?

Bertens is the only Dutch tennis player this century to participate in the WTA Finals in singles, after making her debut last year at the show dotted with spectacle. She was unable to place herself on her own last year, but was still able to attend due to an injury from Halep.

Bertens started as an absolute underdog in the Finals in 2018, but impressed in Singapore by finishing second in a group with Sloane Stephens, Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka and qualifying for the semi-finals. The later winner Svitolina was the boss after an exciting party.

By the way, Bertens is not the only Dutch person to ever participate in the WTA Finals. Brenda Schultz-McCarthy (1997), Tine Zwaan (1973) and Betty Stöve (five participations in the 70s) led the best Dutch tennis player of all time.

With the WTA Finals it is more than honor, because there are also points for the world ranking and the necessary prize money to win. The winner in singles raises an amount of more than 1.5 million euros, in addition to the income from previous parties.

Last 10 WTA Finals winners

  • 2018. Elina Svitolina (Oek)
  • 2017: Caroline Wozniacki (Den)
  • 2016: Dominika Cibulková (Slw)
  • 2015: Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol)
  • 2014: Serena Williams (USA)
  • 2013: Serena Williams (USA)
  • 2012: Serena Williams (USA)
  • 2011: Petra Kvitová (Ch)
  • 2010: Kim Clijsters (Call)
  • 2009: Serena Williams (USA)