Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs and Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova Round Out Doubles Competition at WTA Championships-Doha 2010

BEIJING, CHINA – The doubles teams of Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs and Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova have qualified 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.  The two teams join Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta and Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik who qualified earlier.

Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Samantha Stosur and Francesca Schiavone are headed to Doha for the singles competition.  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 Lisa and Rennae and Vania and Yaroslava on qualifying for the WTA Championships. Lisa and Rennae first teamed up 15 years ago and it’s truly remarkable that they are still one of the best doubles teams in the world.  Vania and Yaroslava have found success immediately after partnering earlier this spring and after two back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles, a trip to the WTA Championships is a perfect way to end the season,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.

Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs:

After first coming together 15 years ago, Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs have won 33 titles, third in WTA history (Navratilova/Shriver–70, Fernandez/Zvereva–38). Raymond/Stubbs’ most recent title together came at the AEGON International (Eastbourne).  Additionally, the team reached the final at the Mercury Insurance Open (San Diego, l. to Kirilenko/Zheng) and the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open (Cincinnati, l. to Azarenka/Kirilenko).  Raymond/Stubbs also reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the US Open. As a team, Raymond/Stubbs have qualified for the year-end WTA Championships six times and won the title together in 2001.  Raymond also captured the Championships title in 2005 and 2006 with Samantha Stosur, and will play at the Championships for the 11th time.  Stubbs is headed to the Championships for the 15th time, having first qualified in 1992.  In addition to winning in 2001, she was a finalist in 2004 (w. Black) and in 2008 (w. Peschke).  Both Raymond and Stubbs are former doubles World No.1’s and jointly held the No. 1 ranking for three weeks in 2000.

Vania King/Yaroslava Shvedova:

King/Shvedova have enjoyed a breakthrough season, winning two Grand Slam titles within three months of first partnering at the AEGON Classic (Birmingham). In just their third tournament together they defeated Elena Vesnina/Vera Zvonareva to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles title and followed that up with a US Open title, saving a match point to defeat Liezel Huber/Nadia Petrova and maintain their unbeaten record in majors.  They also reached the final at UNICEF Open (‘s-Hertogenbosch) losing to Alla Kudryavtseva/Anastasia Rodionova.  Both King and Shvedova are headed to the WTA Championships for the first time in their careers.  Shvedova – the first player in history from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam title of any kind – was also a runner up at the 2010 Roland Garros in mixed doubles (with Julian Knowle), while King has won 12 tour-level doubles titles with other partners.

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 Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 3677 6
Francesca Schiavone** 4346 7
Jelena Jankovic 4157 8
Elena Dementieva 3946 9
Victoria Azarenka 3590 10
Justine Henin 3415 11
Li Na 3091 12

*           Denotes player that has qualified yet withdrew due to injury

**         Denotes player/team has already qualified

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

Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters Qualify For WTA Championships

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Today, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters became the third and fourth 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.  Williams and Clijsters join Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva and the doubles teams of Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta 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 congratulate both Serena and Kim for qualifying for the WTA Championships and am glad that fans all over the world will have the opportunity to watch these two incredible players compete for the coveted title in Doha,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

SERENA WILLIAMS:

World No.1 Serena Williams has qualified for the WTA Championships for the seventh time in her career and is headed to Doha as the defending champion, having defeated sister Venus in the 2009 final.  In her career, Serena has held the World No.1 ranking for 122 weeks (6th all-time), including all of 2010 season to date.  Serena enjoyed a successful start to the 2010 season, capturing her 12th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open, in addition to taking home the doubles trophy with Venus.  At Roland Garros, she reached the quarterfinals (l. to Stosur) and also won the doubles title with Venus. She then went on to capture her 13th Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon two weeks later, passing Billie Jean King’s career number of Grand Slams singles title wins.

In addition to her success at the Grand Slams, Serena reached the final of the Medibank International (Sydney, l. to Dementieva) and the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome, l. to Jankovic).

KIM CLIJSTERS:

“A year into my comeback, making the WTA Championships is a great achievement to me. It’s certainly a personal highlight and goal of mine,” said World No.5 Clijsters.  “I’ve never been to Doha so it will be exciting to travel there as it’s a place I’d like to see and learn about.”

Just one year since making a comeback to the sport after a two-year hiatus, Kim Clijsters is the fourth player to qualify for the WTA Championships and will attempt to win her third year-end title, having previously captured the trophy in 2002 and 2003.  This year marks Clijsters’ seventh year-end Championships appearance, the first since 2006.

Clijsters has had a terrific 2010 season, highlighted by winning her third US Open title, and reaching her “second-career” highest ranking of World No.3 on August 23, 2010.  Clijsters has an impressive 36-6 win-loss record this year and has reached the quarterfinals or better seven times in 10 tournaments played.  In 2010, Clijsters has won four tournaments – the Brisbane International (Brisbane), the Sony Ericsson Open (Miami), the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open (Cincinnati), in addition to defending her title at the US Open.

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

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

Dulko and Pennetta First Doubles Team to Qualify to WTA Championships

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Today, Argentina’s Gisela Dulko and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta became the first doubles team 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, and offering prize money of $4.45 million.  Dulko and Pennetta will make their first trip to the prestigious Championships as a team after a successful season highlighted by winning five titles – more than any other team on Tour.  It’s also the first time that both players qualified for the year-end Championships in either singles or doubles.

“It is very exciting to qualify for the WTA Championships. We are thrilled to play in the prestigious event for the first time in each of our careers and look forward to competing in Doha against the best doubles teams in the world,” said Dulko.

“I’m so happy to qualify for the year-end Championships with Gisela as we are close friends on and off the court and it is very special for us,” added Pennetta.  “We have worked very hard this year and reaching the Championships is a perfect way to end the season.”

Dulko and Pennetta have played 13 tournaments together in 2010, winning five titles to take their career tally together to eight.  Earlier this season, they compiled a 17-match winning streak – the longest on Tour since March 2007 (when Cara Black and Liezel Huber won 22), which garnered three consecutive Premier-level titles at the Sony Ericsson Open (Miami), the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) and the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart). Their run was finally stopped by Serena and Venus Williams at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open (Madrid), where Dulko and Pennetta finished as runners-up.

The second half of the season has been highlighted by two additional titles – the Rogers Cup (Montreal) and the Collector Swedish Open (Bastad).  Dulko and Pennetta also recorded strong Grand Slam results this year, reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open.  Dulko and Pennetta have amassed an impressive 40-8 record as a team so far this season. Dulko also won a sixth doubles title this year, collecting the Copa BBVA Colsanitas (Bogota) with Edina Gallovits.

“I congratulate Gisela and Flavia on qualifying for the WTA Championships for the first time in their careers,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “They are an exciting and charismatic team and have worked incredibly hard to become the most consistent doubles champions during 2010.  Gisela and Flavia will make a great addition to the doubles roster during the WTA’s season finale in Qatar and it’s great that the fans will be able to watch them compete with the best doubles teams on Tour.”

Jan Kodes Hosts Book signings During Open

1971, 1973 US Open Finalist To Sign Copies of “JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” at US Open Bookstore and Czech Restaurant “Café Prague” During 2010 US Open

Coffee Table Book Provides Narrative and Illustrated History of Czech Tennis

NEW YORK – Former Wimbledon champion and two-time U.S. Open finalist Jan Kodes of the Czech Republic will host two additional signings for his new book “JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” during the 2010 US Open.

Kodes will host a signing on Sunday, September 5 at 5 pm at the US Open Bookstore on site at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Kodes will also sign copies of his book at Café Prague, an authentic Czech coffee house in mid-town Manhattan at 2 West 19th Street at Fifth Avenue on Friday, September 10 at 3 pm. Kodes hosted his first book signing at the US Open bookstore on Thursday.

The coffee table book, originally published in Czech, provides a narrative and illustrated history of Czech tennis through the eyes of Kodes and author Peter Kolar. The book, filled with hundreds of unique and personal photographs, documents the successful journey of Kodes from political turmoil of the Cold War to international tennis fame, detailing the early days of darkness and family persecution in communist Czechoslovakia and the complexities of becoming a professional tennis player under a totalitarian regime. Entertaining anecdotes featuring Czech tennis legends Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova are also featured as well as the stories behind Kodes’ victories at Wimbledon and the French Open and his two runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open.

“I am very pleased that this book is now available in English so fans outside of the Czech Republic can learn about my story and some history of tennis in my country,” said Kodes. “I am happy to share stories of my triumphs and failures as well as stories about Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl and other Czech tennis greats.”

“JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is available for $49.95 in bookstores and retail outlets across the United States and Canada. It is a deluxe glossy photo and text hard cover that fills 548 pages.

Kodes is considered the most under-rated tennis champion of the Open Era, reaching five major singles finals, winning the French Open in 1970 and 1971 and the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1973. He also reached the U.S. Open final in both 1971 and 1973, losing to Stan Smith and John Newcombe, respectively. Kodes played Davis Cup for Czechoslovakia for 15 years, leading his country to the final in 1975, where it lost to Sweden in Stockholm. His Davis Cup finale came in representing the team in 1980 when it won the championship over Italy in the final. Kodes has served as his country’s Davis Cup captain, president of the Czech Tennis Association, and tournament director of ATP Czech Open tournament.

“I believe that, in his time, Jan was one of the best players in the world,” said five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg. “He earned his place in tennis history as a great champion.”

Peter Kolar is a Czech writer, who has written for Basket, Sports Plus, and Xantypa. He is the author of several Czech books profiling the NBA, the Winter Olympics, and three-time world decathlon champion, Tomas Dvorak.

“JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is published by New Chapter Press – also the publisher of The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer, The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match, by Cliff Richey with Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, Tennis Made Easy by Kelly Gunterman, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.