WTA Championships 2013: Breaking Down the Battle for Each Remaining Spot

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WTA Championships 2013: Breaking Down the Battle for Each Remaining Spot
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Top players pose before 2012 WTA Championships in Istanbul.

The Grand Slams are over. The biggest prize remaining in women's tennis is one of the eight slots in the WTA Championships.

The tournament takes place Oct. 22-27 in Istanbul.

Qualifying is akin to vying for entrance to the NCAA tournament in basketball. However, there's no selection committee. Each player has to play her way in.

Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na have qualified. 

The stakes are high. The tournament will offer a record $6 million in prize money. The winner could take home as much as $2,145,000. That's Grand Slam kind of money.  

The championships feature a round-robin format that feeds into a four-player single elimination finish—the final four. 

Qualifying for the tournament is based on points accumulated this year. 

Results from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and the China Open in Beijing will help determine who gets the final three spots. 

There's a chance Sharapova might withdraw. She is still nursing a shoulder injury

If a player withdraws, the player with the next highest points gains entry.

Those who don't qualify can still get into the Tournament of Champions—the WTA's equivalent to the NIT. 

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