Flavia Pennetta's late-season surge might have just booked her a ticket to Singapore. The Italian's surprising US Open victory over compatriot Roberta Vinci vaults her up to No.6 on the RTS Standings.
Starting the fortnight well outside the Elite Eight at No.46, Pennetta made up for lost ground in style, reaching the second week of the US Open for the sixth time in seven appearances and upsetting RTS No.24 and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur, No.6 Petra Kvitova, and No.2 Halep before beating Vinci in the final.
Though the Italian initially announced an immediate retirement from the sport, she later clarified that her goal was to play until the end of the season, and where better to end a glittering career than by making her singles debut at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global?
Pennetta long saved her best results for doubles, and first qualified for the WTA Finals in 2010 alongside partner Gisela Dulko. Top seeds at the event - then held in Doha - Pennetta and Dulko raced past the field without losing a set, beating No.2 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the final. The pair returned to the WTA Finals the following year on its Istanbul debut, but lost a tough final set super-tiebreak aganst No.2 seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.
Leapfrogging ahead of formidable opponents like Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska - all of whom remain on the bubble to qualify for Singapore - the Italian veteran will look to parlay her best form through the upcoming Asian Swing in the hopes of capturing that Singapore debut.