Tickets for WTA Finals championship match sold out

Tickets for WTA Finals championship match sold out
Petra Kvitova showing the results of having her nails painted at a Nike store at Shaw House.

If you haven't gotten your ticket for the championship match of the BNP Paribas Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals on Oct 26, it is now too late.

The WTA announced on Friday that all 10,000 seats at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for the grand final - ticket prices range from S$85 to S$196 - have been snapped up.

This is the first time that Singapore is hosting the WTA's season-ending event, which features the top eight female singles tennis players. The defending champion is American Serena Williams, the current world number one.

The tournament gets underway on Monday night and the WTA said that "few tickets" remain for the opening ceremony and the first singles match.

Chinese star Li Na, who was on track to qualify for a spot in Singapore before her surprise retirement from the sport last month, will hit the ceremonial first ball to officially open the competition.

Unlike the four Grand Slams, where a defeat means instant elimination, the WTA Finals' unique round robin format means that a player can afford to lose one or even two matches and still be in with a shout of qualifying for the semi-finals.

How it works is that the eight players will be divided into two groups of four. Williams will be the top seed in one group, with Russian Maria Sharapova the top seed in the other.

The top two finishers in each group will advance to the semi-finals where the top player in each group will play against the other group's runner-up.

An interesting statistic is that, in the past 11 editions of the WTA Finals, there have been four instances where a player has recovered from a defeat to eventually lift the Billie Jean King trophy.

Ahead of the tournament's opening day, many of the eight players were out and about for various sponsorship engagements at different venues across the island.

Three among the octet - Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep - visited Raffles Institution (RI) in Bishan for an hour-long clinic with 50 teenagers from RI and Raffles Girls' School.

The trio, sponsored by German sportswear giant adidas, spent time answering questions from the lucky students before hitting the courts to exchange a few rallies with them.

Halep later hopped on a bus to pay a surprise visit to Methodist Girls' School where she met the tennis team's 19 students.

Meanwhile, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was the special guest at the official opening of Nike's new store on the ground floor of Shaw Centre.

The 24-year-old Czech, who is known for her love of manicures, was given a surprise when told she would be getting her nails done, Singapore-style, in the colours of red and white.

She was joined by a group of 15 young girls who peppered her with questions as they also got matching manicures.

This article was first published on Oct 18, 2014.
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