Kerber KO's Ivanovic in Linz
Angelique Kerber (AP Photo)
Linz - Germany's Angelique Kerber qualified for the season-ending WTA Championship finals in Istanbul after she won the Linz tournament on Sunday beating Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) on Sunday.
The 25-year-old German -- ranked 10th in the world but top seed at Linz -- beat third seed Ivanovic in 1hr 37 minutes to win her first title of the year and third of her career, following those in Paris and Copenhagen last year.
Kerber who won on her fourth match point against the Serbian, ranked 16th in the world and who was also seeking her first title of the season.
"At the end it was pretty close," said a relieved Kerber.
"I am very happy to have won because Ana is an exceptional player.
"I focused on myself but I should have been calmer about taking my chances for winning the match."
Kerber fills the final spot at The WTA Championships which features the top eight singles players and the top four doubles pairings competing for a record $6 million in prize money and is being hosted in Istanbul, which runs from October 22-27, for a third successive year.
The other seven are American Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska, China's Li Na, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Italian Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
Russian drawcard Maria Sharapova, ranked three in the world, announced last Monday she would be unable to comnpete there because of a nagging right shoulder injury.