Singapore - Qualifying for the elite WTA Finals in Singapore proved bittersweet for Kremlin Cup winner Svetlana Kuznetsova after she sent Britain's Johanna Konta packing before she even played a match.
Restricted to the world's top eight ranked players, Kuznetsova's last-gasp win in Moscow saw her leapfrog Konta to clinch the last spot. Konta opted not to play last week because of a niggling injury so came to Singapore early to prepare, only to miss out at the last minute.
"It's horrible. It's very strange. It's never happened to me in my life," Kuznetsova told reporters after she jetted into Singapore on Sunday.
"When I was playing, definitely I was not thinking of somebody who I can kind of take out," she said, adding that she was "really sorry" for Konta, one of the most improved players in women's tennis.
The mad scramble for the eighth spot following a gruelling 10-month season only came about last week after world number two Serena Williams pulled out of the event, citing a shoulder injury.
Describing her qualification as a bonus, Kuznetsova will be appearing in the tournament for the first time since 2009, although she faced a logistical nightmare getting to Singapore from her Russian homeland.
Within hours of winning the Kremlin Cup, Kuznetsova was rushing to Moscow airport to catch her connecting flight to Southeast Asia. She arrived on Sunday and with no time to spare, went straight to the practice courts to try and shake off the jetlag before her opening match against defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska on Monday.
"I try not to think about it. I came to Moscow from Tianjin and I went straight to practice; here, the same thing. I think my body doesn't know what's going on already," she said.