MOSCOW — A wrist injury killed off Carla Suarez Navarro’s hopes of qualifying for the WTA Finals as the Spanish player retired while facing Australian Daria Gavrilova in the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.
Needing to win the Kremlin Cup to qualify for the elite competition in Singapore this weekend, Suarez Navarro was down 6-4, 3-0 to Gavrilova in the second round when she retired.
Gavrilova, who was born in Moscow, will play either seventh-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia or Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the quarterfinals.
Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova remains on course to claim the last WTA Finals place after she beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4, 7-5 in their second-round match. The Russian was in strong form, landing 76 percent of her first serves, and next plays either Hungarian Timea Babos or French player Kristina Mladenovic.
Kuznetsova will qualify for the WTA Finals only if she wins the Kremlin Cup. Otherwise, the place goes to Britain’s Johanna Konta.
The fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine eased past Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-2 and into the quarterfinals. Svitolina next plays 18-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh, who had a second-round walkover when Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova was unable to play.
In the men’s event, seventh-seeded Paolo Lorenzi became the first seeded player to go out, losing to fellow Italian Fabio Fognini 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the second round.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.