WORLD NO. 8 SAMANTHA STOSUR ENTERS FAMILY CIRCLE CUP

CHARLESTON, SC (October 12, 2010) – World No. 8 and defending champion Samantha Stosur has officially entered the 2011 Family Circle Cup.  Stosur, the first player to commit to the tournament, returns to Daniel Island where she set the event’s mark for the fastest championship victory on record by defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-0, 6-3, in just 52 minutes.  Marking the tournament’s 39th consecutive year, the Family Circle Cup, a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier event, will be held April 2-10, 2011 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sam Stosur back to Charleston to defend her championship in April,” commented Eleanor Adams, Tournament Manager, Family Circle Cup.  “Since winning the Family Circle Cup, she has continued to post the best results of her singles career, and we’re so happy to have her return where that success began.  I know our fans will enjoy watching her take another shot at this title.”

Samantha Stosur, the 20th champion in the Family Circle Cup’s storied history, said, “I’ve always enjoyed competing in Charleston, and I really look forward to defending my title at this historic event.  The city is beautiful and the fans are very knowledgeable, so it’s always exciting to play this tournament.”

Building upon an impressive 2009 season that included her first title at Osaka and first appearance in the Top 20, Stosur is posting an even stronger year in 2010, illustrated by her Charleston victory, reaching the finals at Roland Garros, quarterfinal appearance at the US Open, career-high ranking at World No. 5 on July 5th, and a secured berth in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships in Doha at the end of this month.  She is also climbing towards the $2 million earnings mark since January, the highest earning season of her career.  The 26-year-old Top-ranked Australian has over 300 career victories in both singles and doubles, and has amassed total career earnings of $6,098,833.

“Winning the Family Circle Cup has certainly been an important highlight of my career,” added Stosur.

Throughout her 12-year professional career, Stosur has made a prolific mark in doubles action, where she has held a World No. 1 ranking. She owns 22 doubles titles, including a Family Circle Cup title in 2006 with partner Lisa Raymond, as well as two mixed doubles titles. Stosur owns a title at every major, winning at the 2005 US Open and 2006 Roland Garros with partner Lisa Raymond, and mixed doubles titles at the 2005 Australian Open with Scott Draper, and 2008 Wimbledon with Bob Bryan.

Stosur is poised to make her fifth appearance in Charleston, where, in singles, she has notched a 6-3 record and $120,150 in prize money.  In doubles action, she has posted a 6-2 record and $35,100 in prize money.  Her total Charleston earnings amount to $155,250.  Fans can view Samantha Stosur’s official web site at www.samstosur.com.

Family Circle Cup Ticket Packages will be on sale very soon, and ticket patrons who buy early will be able to secure the best possible seats.  Fans can visit familycirclecup.com for ticket information and player commitment updates as the tournament approaches.

The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup, is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated by Meredith Corporation that also hosts a variety of additional events including concerts, festivals, tennis tournaments and other activities throughout the year.  The Family Circle Cup receives four days of live broadcast domestically on ESPN2, and is viewed internationally by over 25 countries, featuring over 140 hours of live and delayed global broadcast time, reaching 4.33 million viewers worldwide.  With over 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscription magazines owned by Meredith Corporation. The Tennis Center features a 10,200 seat stadium, Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts lighted for night play, Pro Shop, and a full service event management staff capable of handling all aspects of an event including ticketing, operations, sales, marketing, public relations, and food & beverage.  For tickets or more info, call (843) 856-7900 or visit familycirclecup.com.

Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva Round Out Singles Field at WTA Championships-Doha 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva today became the final two singles players to qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships–Doha 2010, set to take place for the third year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 26-31.

Jankovic and Dementieva join Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Samantha Stosur, Francesca Schiavone and the doubles teams of Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta, Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik, Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs and Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova.  The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will compete for the coveted WTA Championships title and a share of the $4.5 million in prize money.

“I congratulate Jelena and Elena on qualifying for the WTA Championships,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.  “Both Jelena and Elena consistently perform at the highest level year in and year out, and it’s great to see them qualify for what promises to be a terrific finale to the 2010 season.”

Jelena Jankovic:

Serbia’s Jankovic is headed to her fourth straight WTA Championships, where she has been a semifinalist in each of the last two years.  A winner of the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), her 12th career singles title, Jankovic also reached the final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome, l. Martinez Sanchez), the semifinals at Roland Garros (l. Stosur), and the quarterfinals at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships (Dubai), the Family Circle Cup (Charleston), and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart).  In Rome, Jankovic became only the seventh player in history to defeat both Serena and Venus Williams in the same tournament, and additionally scored her 400th match win at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open.

Elena Dementieva:

Russia’s Dementieva has qualified for the year-end WTA Championships for the tenth time in her career, achieving her best results at the event in 2000 and 2008 by reaching the semifinals.  Dementieva started off the season by capturing titles at two of her first three tournaments: the Medibank International (Sydney) and the Open GDF SUEZ (Paris).  Additionally, she was runner-up at the Malaysia Open (Kuala Lumpur, l. Kleybanova) and the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo, l. Wozniacki); and the semifinals of the Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale (New Haven, l. Wozniacki).  Dementieva retired with a calf injury during her semifinal match at Roland Garros after losing the first set to Francesca Schiavone subsequently causing her to miss Wimbledon, ending a run of 46 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.  Dementieva has won 16 career titles and has 574 career match wins, second only to Venus Williams (590) among active players.    She has been ranked in the Top 20 for each week of the last seven years.

RACE TO THE WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS–DOHA 2010

as of the week of October 4, 2010

SINGLES DOUBLES
PLAYER POINTS RACE STANDING TEAM POINTS RACE STANDING
Caroline Wozniacki** 6395 1 Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta** 7411 1
Vera Zvonareva** 5397 2 Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik** 6146 2
Serena Williams** 5355 3 Serena Williams/Venus Williams^ 5500 3
Kim Clijsters** 5295 4 Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs** 5099 4
Venus Williams* 4985 5 Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova** 4528 5
Samantha Stosur** 4568 6
Francesca Schiavone** 4346 7
Jelena Jankovic** 4157 8
Elena Dementieva** 3946 9

** Denotes player/team has already qualified

* Denotes player that has qualified yet withdrew due to injury

^Due to Venus Williams’ injury, team unable to participate in the event of eventual qualification

Vera Zvonareva Qualifies For WTA Championships-Doha 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Today, Russia’s Vera Zvonareva became the second singles player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Championships–Doha 2010, set to take place for the third year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 26-31.  In Doha, Zvonareva will join Caroline Wozniacki and the doubles teams of Flavia Pennetta/Gisela Dulko and Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik who qualified earlier.  The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will compete for the coveted WTA Championships title and a share of the $4.5 million in prize money.

“I’m thrilled to be going back to Doha.  I’ve been at the year-end WTA Championships for the past couple of years and I am very happy that I have been able to compete there for three years in a row now,” said World No.4 Zvonareva.

“Vera has had the best season of her career, highlighted by reaching back-to-back Grand Slam finals in addition to a career-high ranking of World No.4,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.  “After last season plagued by injuries, Vera’s worked incredibly hard to recover and get back to the top of the sport and it’s fantastic that she will finish a great year at the WTA season finale in Doha.”

Zvonareva will make her fourth appearance at the prestigious year-end WTA Championships, having debuted in Los Angeles in 2004, in addition to her three consecutive trips to Doha, where she finished as a runner-up to Venus Williams in 2008.

Zvonareva has enjoyed a breakthrough 2010, highlighted by back-to-back Grand Slam final appearances at Wimbledon (l. to S. Williams) and the US Open (l. to Clijsters).  Zvonareva is currently ranked a career-high World No.4.  Zvonareva also won her 10th career title at the PTT Pattaya Open (Pattaya), and reached the final at the Family Circle Cup (Charleston, l. to Stosur) and the Rogers Cup (Montreal, l. to Wozniacki), making her one of three players this season to reach five finals (Sharapova, Wozniacki).

Zvonareva’s interests outside of tennis include involvement in numerous charitable organizations in addition to currently studying for a degree in International Relations and Economics at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  She enrolled in this program in 2007 while being sidelined from tennis with an injury.  Earlier this year, Zvonareva became a supporter of the International Rett Syndrome Foundation, an organization fighting the debilitating disease affecting young girls.

RACE TO THE WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS – DOHA 2010 (as of the week of September 27, 2010)

SINGLES DOUBLES
PLAYER POINTS RACE STANDING TEAM POINTS RACE STANDING
Caroline Wozniacki** 5615 1 Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta** 7186 1
Serena Williams 5355 2 Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik** 5921 2
Kim Clijsters 5295 3 Serena Williams/Venus Williams 5500 3
Vera Zvonareva** 5173 4 Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs 4704 4
Venus Williams 4985 5 Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova 4527 5
Samantha Stosur 4567 6 Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 3676 6
Jelena Jankovic 4033 7
Francesca Schiavone 3952 8
Justine Henin 3415 9
Elena Dementieva 3327 10
Victoria Azarenka 3196 11
Li Na 3091 12
Shahar Peer 2965 13
Agnieszka Radwanska 2831 14

** Denotes player/team has already qualified