Kerber to face WTA Finals debutants in Singapore

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World number one Angelique Kerber will face WTA Finals debutants Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulkova as well as Petra Kvitova in the group stage of the season-ending tournament in Singapore.

The WTA on Thursday confirmed Kerber will end the year at the top of the rankings and the German is aiming to end a stellar 2016 in style by claiming her first WTA Finals title next week.

Kerber was on Friday drawn to come up against American Keys, Slovakian Cibulkova and Romanian Halep in the Red Group for a round-robin format in which the two top will go through to the semi-finals.

Top seed Kerber, who won her first grand slam title at the Australian Open in January and was also crowned US Open champion, has never progressed beyond the group stage at the lucrative event, but will be expected to reach the last four on this occasion.

Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza will do battle in the White Group along with US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

The final competitor in that group is still to be decided, with Svetlana Kuznetsova set to take the eighth and final spot if she wins the Kremlin Cup in Moscow this week and Johanna Konta qualifying if the Russian falls short on home soil.

Serena Williams is a notable absentee from the tournament after the 22-time grand slam champion withdrew due to a shoulder injury. 

The first WTA Finals singles matches will be staged on Sunday, with the final taking place a week later.