Sakkari lifted the title in Croatia in 2016
Greek teenager Maria Sakkari has qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, putting her through to the season-ending season-ending WTA Finals for the first time.
The 19-year-old, ranked 65th in the world, finished in a tie for 14th in an extended WTA event in Croatia with two wins and a defeat.
She collected four match points in her final three-set win against Johanna Larsson but could not take them.
Sakkari then qualified for the WTA Finals before the tournament even began.
The WTA Finals are a straight-set round-robin event involving the world’s top eight players who feature in the rankings at the end of the season.
The 10-strong group stages of the tournament will be played in Singapore from 9-12 October and Sakkari’s performances means she has already secured her place.
The top two players in the group, plus the winner and runner-up from the round-robin phase, progress to the semi-finals.
The other group stages will also be played this year and there will be a comeback knockout on 14 October after the first two rounds of the competition were scrapped following criticism of poor ratings.
The top two in each group will progress to the semi-finals.