With the 2012 schedule winding down, the WTA announced the eight invitees to its season-ending tournament. The Top 10 is unchanged this week but there are slight differences with the qualification for the WTA Championships.
The eight highest-ranked players all received invitations but Angelique Kerber, sixth in the rankings, is the fifth qualifier for Istanbul and No. 5-ranked Petra Kvitova is sixth. Also Sara Errani and Li Na, eighth and seventh in the rankings, switch places for the championships' qualification.
But the numbers that stick out as the WTA released the roster for the Oct. 23-28 event belong to Williams. Williams has played in just 12 tournaments in 2012 but she is 53-4 with six titles -- including Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open. If she was in the draw, she usually won.
In that record is a 9-1 mark this year and 35-5 all-time against the other seven women in the WTA Championships. She will be the favorite, if healthy, to win in Istanbul.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka matched Williams' total of six tournament wins by taking the WTA stop in Austria Sunday. That pushed her rankings point total to 10,955, solidly ahead of No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova, who has 9,135, and Williams, who has 7,900 Agnieszka Radwanska, with 7,265 points, is fourth.
Kvitova had 6,515 points and Kerber totals 5,470 while Li has 5,095 and Errani 4,855. Samantha Stosur is ranked ninth with 4,330 points and Marion Bartoli (3,850) completed the Top 10.
Heather Watson won the WTA event at Osaka, Japan, becoming the first British woman to win a WTA tournament in 24 years. That pushes her to No. 50 in the world rankings.