Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden secured victory without finishing the first set as Zheng Jie of China retired at 5-1 in the season-ending Tournament of Champions on Friday.
On the last day of the event’s group stage, Arvidsson replaced Maria Kirilenko, who pulled out of the competition on Thursday with an upper respiratory illness. Arvidsson and Zheng had no chance of advancing to the semi-finals.
In the second group match, Russia’s Nadia Petrova rallied from a game down to beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 — a victory that earned her first place in the Sredets Group.
In Group Serdika, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei defeated Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 0-6, 6-4 in the last match of the day.
Hsieh, who arrived in Sofia with a career-high ranking of 25 after finishing last year at No. 172, avenged her loss to the Slovak in the PTT Pattaya Open semi-finals in Thailand in February.
Neither player could advance as Caroline Wozniacki and Italy’s Roberta Vinci had already secured the group’s two semi-final berths.
Top-seeded Wozniacki was set to play Pironkova yesterday, while Petrova was to face Vinci.
“I need to recover fast because it will be a challenging game tomorrow. Roberta [Vinci] is always giving her opponent a hard time with her slice,” Petrova said.