BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) confirmed on Friday that Li Na has qualified for this year's WTA Championships, to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27.
The 31-year-old Li, winner of 2011 French Open, is the fifth player after Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska to be included in the tournament featuring the top eight singles and top four doubles.
"I feel quite happy about that, after all, only eight players can be part of the event. I received the e-mail yesterday, it could be a prize for my performance this year," Li told a press conference ahead of the China Open Friday.
As the first Chinese player to qualified for the singles in 2011, Li has participated in the WTA Championships over the past years in a row.
"Congratulations to Li Na on securing her qualification for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul for the third year in a row," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the WTA. "Her personality and exciting brand of tennis endears her to tennis fans around the world, as Li continues to inspire generations tennis players."
This will be the third and final year for Istanbul to host the WTA Championships. The prize money purse has reached record-high 6 million US dollars this year.