World number two Serena Williams has clinched a berth in the season-ending WTA Championships to be staged October 27-November 1 at Doha, the tour announced Wednesday. The Wimbledon and Australian Open champion joined Russian world number one Dinara Safina, who sealed her spot earlier this month, in the showdown of the top eight women for a record purse of 4.45 million dollars.
Williams, who will make her ninth appearance in the season-ending event, owned the world number one ranking for 11 weeks this year before Safina took over and Williams leads the season prize money chase with 3.95 million dollars. "I am really excited about qualifying," Williams said. "It's never easy and it's never a guarantee so I am thrilled to be going to Doha and competing against some of the best players in the world."
It's also likely that Williams, 27, and her older sister Venus would qualify in doubles for Doha, where the season's four top duos will meet. They have won the Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles crowns together and rank second in the doubles race for Doha.