(Reuters) - Dominika Cibulkova will have to wait to secure a spot at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore after she lost a gruelling encounter to Alize Cornet in the second round of the China Open in Beijing on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Cibulkova, who lost to Petra Kvitova in the final of the Wuhan Open on Sunday, would have guaranteed her place at season-ending tournament had she won the China Open, but was beaten 6-2 5-7 6-2 by France’s Cornet.
The Slovak’s defeat ensured that world number three Agnieszka Radwanska and the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova both secured their places at the Tour Finals in Singapore.
“It’s the goal of everyone to qualify for the WTA Finals,” said defending champion Radwanska.
“It won’t be easy to defend my title, but that’s the goal. It will be exciting and a challenge to see different names and faces in this year’s field.”
The top eight ranked players in the week of Oct. 24 will qualify for the WTA Finals.
U.S. open finalist Pliskova will be making her debut at the Finals this year.
World number one Angelique Kerber, 22-times grand slam champion Serena Williams and Romania’s Simona Halep have also already secured places at the tournament.
During a rain-hit second day in Beijing, three matches were cancelled, including world number six Pliskova’s second round clash against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.
Wuhan Open winner Kvitova made light work of Wang Yafan, beating the Chinese qualifier 6-4 6-1 to progress to the third round, where she will face China Open champion Garbine Muguruza.
World number five Halep dispatched Germany’s Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-2 in just under an hour and will be joined in the next round by former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Roberta Vinci 6-3 6-2, and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, who overcame Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-1 7-5.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis