World number two, Serena Williams has withdrawn from the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore because of a shoulder injury.
The 35-year-old American has not played since reaching the semi-finals of the US Open in September, missing the entire Asian swing because of the same problem.
“I was looking forward to competing in Singapore this year and playing against the best players in the world,” said Williams.
“However, I have received disappointing news from my doctor that I must undergo a series of medical treatments for my shoulder, and will be off the court for the next several weeks.
“I will miss coming to Singapore for the year-end Finals and playing in front of my fans but truly hope to be back soon.”
Williams’ withdrawal means the ninth-ranked player on the Road to Singapore Leaderboard will qualify for the Finals, with Britain’s Johanna Konta currently occupying the spot, but Spaniard, Carla Suarez Navarro and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova still have a chance of sneaking into the final qualifying position.
Meanwhile, Slovakian, Dominika Cibulkova and rising American star, Madison Keys have become the latest players to qualify for the season ending showpiece.
It was double celebrations for the 27-year-old Cibulkova on Sunday, who scored a 6-3 7-5 victory over Switzerland’s Victorija Golubic to win the General Ladies Linz in Austria, and in the process, confirm her place in Singapore.
She will be making her debut in the season-ending event, along with, Keys, who also qualified over the weekend.
Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza are the other players that are already guaranteed spots in the Elite 8, who will battle for for the title at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang from October 23-30.