Azarenka, Sharapova and Errani/Vinci first to qualify for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul

NEW YORK, NY, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova and the top doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the first players to qualify for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, which will be staged at the Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey. The WTA’s year-end finale, to be held from October 23-28, will feature the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams, competing for the coveted title and a share of $4.9 million in prize money.

“I congratulate Victoria, Maria, Sara and Roberta on becoming the first players to secure their places at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Maria and Victoria have had outstanding seasons with each earning Grand Slam titles, the WTA World No.1 ranking and Olympic medals, highlighted by Maria achieving her career Grand Slam. Sara and Roberta have been the stand-out doubles pair this year, winning seven titles including their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.”

“We are delighted that Victoria, Maria, Sara and Roberta have qualified for the second staging of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul, which launched with such great success last year in Turkey,” said Ayda Uluç, Turkish Tennis Federation President. “We are planning to raise the bar even higher at this year’s event and look forward to showcasing the talents of these extraordinary players to fans in Istanbul and around the world.”

 

Victoria Azarenka

“This year has been amazing for me so far, starting by winning the Australian Open, becoming WTA World No.1 for the first time and winning two medals at the Olympics. Last year, the atmosphere at the WTA Championships in Istanbul was great and I am looking forward to playing there again.”

After winning her first Grand Slam title at this year’s Australian Open, Azarenka became the 22nd player to hold the WTA World No.1 ranking. Her stellar start to the season began with a 26 match winning streak, the best since 1997 when Martina Hingis won 37 straight. The streak yielded the Belarusian four singles titles: the Apia International Sydney, Australian Open, Qatar Total Open (Doha) and BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells).

The 23-year-old’s strong results have also included finishing runner-up at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart) and Mutua Madrid Open, advancing to the semifinals at Wimbledon and US Open, and claiming singles bronze and mixed doubles gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics. This year Azarenka boasts a WTA-leading 14 victories over Top 10 ranked opponents, including a 7-2 record against Top 5 opponents.

Azarenka returns to the Championships for the fourth consecutive year, having finished runner-up to Petra Kvitova in a close three-set final in 2011.

 Maria Sharapova

“I am very happy to be returning to Istanbul for the WTA Championships. This year has been really special for me, winning the Roland Garros title to complete my career Grand Slam, rising back to No.1 for a time and of course taking home a silver medal from the London Olympics. It will be great to finish off the season in Turkey. We received such incredible support from the fans last year, so I’m looking forward to competing against the world’s best players there once again.”

The 25-year-old became only the 6th player in the Open Era to complete a career Grand Slam when she claimed the Roland Garros title in June. The victory propelled her back to WTA World No.1 for the first time since 2008, a position she held for 4 weeks, taking her career total to 21 weeks. The Russian also made her Olympic debut in London, coming away with a silver medal.

Sharapova has won three titles in 2012: the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart), Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) and Roland Garros, her fourth Grand Slam title. She finished runner-up at the Australian Open, BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), Sony Open Tennis (Miami) and the Olympics.

Sharapova, who defeated Serena Williams to win the 2004 Championships, will compete in the season-ending tournament for the sixth time in her career. She also finished runner-up in 2007, and her 3 hour, 24 minute final against Justine Henin remains the longest WTA singles final on record.

 

Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci

“We are so happy, so excited, to have qualified for the WTA Championships,” said Vinci. “We’ve played very good tennis this year and this is the reward. I was at the WTA Championships a long time ago, back in 2001, but it is even more special for me to do this with such a good friend as Sara. I think the level of competition in doubles has become even tougher over the last decade, so we are looking forward to some great matches at Istanbul.”

Errani and Vinci will be the first all-Italian team to compete at the prestigious year-end event. Vinci will be returning to the Championships for the second time in her career – 11 years after her first appearance in doubles in 2001 (partnered with Sandrine Testud, QF). Errani will be making her tournament debut, joining a list of a list of five Italians who have competed in doubles at the Championships including Rita Grande (2001), Flavia Pennetta (2010, 2011), Francesca Schiavone (2006) and Vinci (2001).

Errani and Vinci have had an outstanding year, winning seven titles, highlighted by becoming the first all-Italian pair to win a Grand Slam doubles title at Roland Garros. The duo won five consecutive titles – Barcelona Ladies Open, Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Roland Garros and UNICEF Open (‘s-Hertogenbosch) – and their 25-match win streak was the longest by a team since 1994, when Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva won 28 straight.

First teaming up on a regular basis in 2010, Errani and Vinci have collected a total of 12 doubles titles as a team. They have also compiled an undefeated record to date in Fed Cup doubles competition for Italy, being key ingredients in the country’s championship runs in 2009 and 2010.

On Monday, September 10, Errani and Vinci will rise to World No.1 and 2 respectively on the WTA’s doubles rankings. Errani becomes the second Italian to hold the honor, after countrywoman Flavia Pennetta held the top spot for 18 weeks during 2011.


RACE TO THE TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS-ISTANBUL

(players/teams in bold already qualified)

SINGLES

DOUBLES

PLAYER

POINTS

TEAM

POINTS

Maria Sharapova (RUS) 7290 Errani / Vinci 8079
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 7286 Huber / Raymond 6756
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 6017 Hlavackova / Hradecka 5700
Serena Williams (USA) 5900 Kirilenko / Petrova 4055
Petra Kvitova (CZE) 5031   Kops-Jones / Spears 2983
Angelique Kerber (GER) 4920 Llaogstera Vives / Martinez Sanchez 2837
Li Na (CHN) 3992 Vesnina / Makarova 2321
Sara Errani (ITA) 3990
Samantha Stosur (AUS) 3072
Marion Bartoli (FRA) 2905

 

Tickets for the 2012 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships–Istanbul, as well as info about the event, are available for purchase through Biletix – either online at www.biletix.com or at Biletix ticket counters in Turkey.

Follow all the latest news about the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul on www.wtachampionships.com, www.facebook.com/WTA, and www.twitter.com/WTA using #WTAChamps.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Eloise Tyson, WTA, +44.207.386.4100, etyson@wtatennis.com

Feray Akşit Güney, TEB, +90.216.635.6487, feray.aksitguney@teb.com.tr

Elodie Verbeke, BNP Paribas global sponsorship, +33632300396, elodie.verbeke@bnpparibas.com

 


 

About BNP Paribas:

BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is one of the strongest banks in the world*. The Group has a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including more than 160,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.

* Rated AA by Standard & Poor’s i.e. 3rd rating level on a scale of 22.

 

About Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB):

Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB), a reputable and prestigious institution in the Turkish banking sector, was established in 1927. Since its establishment, TEB, with its expanded network of branches and a diversified range of products and services, pursues operating in various fields of the banking sector as investment, leasing, factoring and portfolio management. In February 2005, BNP Paribas, one of the top 10 most important banks in the world and the largest in the Euro zone, operating in 83 countries, became a partner of TEB which went public in February 2000. In the wake of its strategic partnership with the BNP Paribas, Türk Ekonomi Bankası carries its expertise in foreign trade, corporate, commercial and private banking over into the fields of retail banking and banking for small and medium-sized businesses. Today TEB is one of the major players of the Turkish Financial Services Market with consolidated asset size of 40.5 billion TL and more than 9.000 employees.

 

About BNP Paribas and Tennis:  

Long-standing partner to the sport of tennis since 1973, BNP Paribas is actively involved in the game at both local and international level, and in club, schools and social tennis as well as professional events. BNP Paribas has gradually become the number one sponsor in world tennis: official sponsor of Roland Garros since 1973 and sponsor of five ATP Masters 1000 events – the BNP Paribas Masters since 1986, Monte Carlo Masters since 2005, Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome since 2006, BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells since 2009 and the Shanghai Masters since 2010. The Group is also title sponsor of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas since 2001 and the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas since 2005, as well as being actively involved in many other international competitions including the Bank of the West Classic in California, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, the Open 13 in Marseille and the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York. BNP Paribas is also an official partner of International Wheelchair Tennis, such as the the “BNP Paribas World Team Cup”. Through its support for more than 20 national tennis associations, 2000 clubs, 550 amateur tournaments, plus schools and social programs around the world, BNP Paribas helps to promote tennis and encourage widespread participation in the game. The Group’s commitment to social values is reflected in the sports sponsorships it has undertaken in numerous projects, including Yannick Noah’s ‘Fête le Mur’ Association and the tennis Téléthon in France, the Oberer Tennis Camp in Switzerland and the BNP Paribas ‘Taste of Tennis’ in the United States. As part of its creative sports sponsorship policy, BNP Paribas has launched a website “www.wearetennis.com” entirely dedicated to tennis news.  The Group’s new sponsorship slogan ‘We are tennis’ underlines the fact that BNP Paribas promotes tennis for all, at all levels.

 


Sara Errani Takes No. 1 Ranking in Doubles

NEW YORK, NY, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that Italy’s Sara Errani will rise to the World No.1 doubles ranking on Monday, September 10. Errani replaces co-No.1s Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in the top spot, and becomes only the second Italian to hold the honor, after Flavia Pennetta, who was ranked No.1 for 18 weeks in 2011. Errani’s partner, fellow Italian Roberta Vinci, is also set to achieve a career-high doubles ranking of No.2.

 

“I would like to congratulate Sara on becoming the WTA’s World No.1 doubles player,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Sara has had an amazing year in singles and doubles, reaching both finals at Roland Garros and winning 11 titles. Sara, along with her partner Roberta, achieved a historic feat at Roland Garros by becoming the first all-Italian team to win a Grand Slam doubles title. Their hard work and determination has paid off and is earning them fans around the world.”

 

“Becoming WTA No.1 in doubles is a dream come true,” said Errani. “It’s what you play for! We’ve won a lot of titles this year and to share such success with a friend like Roberta is amazing. Playing a lot of matches in both singles and doubles has been good for my confidence.”

 

Errani, and her regular doubles partner, countrywoman Vinci, have had an outstanding year, winning seven doubles titles, highlighted by becoming the first all-Italian pair to win a Grand Slam doubles title at Roland Garros. Between April and June the duo won five consecutive titles – Barcelona Ladies Open, Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Roland Garros and UNICEF Open (‘s-Hertogenbosch) – and their 25-match win streak was the longest by a team since 1994, when Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva won 28 straight. The pair currently leads the Race to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul doubles standings.

 

Errani’s quarterfinal appearance at the Generali Ladies Linz with Alberta Brianti last year gives her a slight ranking advantage over Vinci, who will also rise to a new career-high next week, at No.2.

 

At 25 years old, Errani is enjoying a career year in 2012. In addition to her doubles accomplishments she reached her first Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros (l. Sharapova), breaking into the singles Top 10. She has also won four singles titles – at Abierto Mexicano TELCEL (Acapulco), Barcelona Ladies Open, Budapest Grand Prix and XXV Italiacom Open (Palermo).

 

During the course of her career, Errani has won six singles and 15 doubles titles. In addition, she has represented Italy in Fed Cup competition for five consecutive years (including championship runs in 2009 and 2010), and competed in two Olympic Games.

WTA WORLD NO.1 DOUBLES PLAYERS

PLAYER WEEKS AT No.1 DATE REACHED No.1
Martina Navratilova (USA)

237

September 10, 1984
Liezel Huber (USA)

199

November 12, 2007
Cara Black (ZIM)

163

October 17, 2005
Lisa Raymond (USA)

137

June 12, 2000
Natasha Zvereva (BLR)

124

October 7, 1991
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP)

111

October 19, 1992
Paola Suarez (ARG)

87

September 9, 2002
Gigi Fernandez (USA)

80

March 4, 1991
Helena Sukova (CZE)

68

February 5, 1990
Jana Novotna (CZE)

67

August 27, 1990
Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP)

65

September 8, 2003
Samantha Stosur (AUS)

61

February 6,2006
Pam Shriver (USA)

48

March 18, 1985
Ai Sugiyama (JPN)

45

October 23, 2000
Martina Hingis (SUI)

35

June 8, 1998
Lindsay Davenport (USA)

32

October 20, 1997
Gisela Dulko (ARG)

24

November 1, 2010
Flavia Pennetta (ITA)

18

February 28, 2011
Julie Halard-Decugis (FRA)

14

September 11, 2000
Anna Kournikova (RUS)

10

November 22, 1999
Kveta Peschke (CZE)

10

July 4, 2011
Katarina Srebotnik (SLO)

10

July 4, 2011
Serena Williams (USA)

8

June 7, 2010
Venus Williams (USA)

8

June 7, 2010
Corina Morariu (USA)

7

April 3, 2010
Kim Clijsters (BEL)

4

August 4, 2003
Larisa Neiland (LAT)

4

January 27, 1992
Rennae Stubbs(AUS)

3

August 21, 2000
Sara Errani (ITA)

1*

September 10, 2012

*Includes week September 10, 2012

Q & A with Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet, the 26 year old Frenchman reached a career high no. 7 and made it to the semis at Wimbledon in 2007:

TL- What do you think about the Andy Roddick retirement?
RG: For 8 or 9 years he was on top. He was no. 1 in the world. He is a great one.

TL:Do you know that because of your game you have been called a little Federer?
RG:Yes people have said that.

TL:What do you think of Federer?
RG:He is no. 1. He is never sick. He never retires.He talks to every player and is the President of the Tennis Council. Everyone respects him.

TL:How have you done against him?
RG:I have beaten him twice on clay. I have lost many other times (10).

TL:Roland Garros is a great site,especially court no.one.
RG:Yes it is but they are tearing that one down and I don’t know why.

TL:Are the top four really that much better?
RG:Yes they are. They are very strong mentally. They have a big advantage at Slams.

Inside The US Open Coming Out Later This Year

“After the epic Wimbledon match, Nadal hugged his parents,shook the hand of Federer’s father in the players’ box and shook the hands of the Spanish Crown Prince Felipe in the royal box.After beating Federer in straight sets in the final at Roland Garros in June, Nadal said he limited his celebration out of respect for his opponent.” p. 36.

That quote from Inside The US Open will be replicated with much more as one of our writers, Richard Kent will be updating his well received book on the ins and outs of the Open after this year’s event.

Kent will again focus on ballboys, referees, juniors, senior players, broadcasters,etc. in providing the reader with a true inside look at the greatest sporting event in the world.

The update is due out in December, 2011.

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.

PART-TIME VEGAS RESIDENT CIRSTEA TO FACE LEPCHENKO FOR LEXUS OF LAS VEGAS OPEN TITLE ON SUNDAY

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Oct. 2, 2010) – Sorana Cirstea has played on the grandest stages in tennis, including the All-England Club at Wimbledon and Roland Garros at the French Open. But the 20-year-old Romanian told the Lexus of Las Vegas Open tennis fans there was no place she would have rather been on Saturday than Las Vegas.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Roland Garros or wherever, it’s just a pleasure to play before all these wonderful people,” said the No. 3 seeded Cristea, after her 6-3, 6-4 win over her countrywoman and top-seeded Edina Gallovits in the semifinals of the USTA $50,000 Pro Circuit event being held at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.

Cirstea, who lives in Las Vegas a quarter of the year training with the Adidas group led by Darren Cahill and Gil Reyes, will meet American Varvara Lepchenko in today’s final. Lepchenko, the No. 2 seed, beat No. 4 Mirjana Lucic in similar fashion, 6-3, 6-4, in the first semifinal on Saturday.

Cirstea controlled the match opening up a 5-1 second set lead with her popping first serve and consistent groundstrokes. “She is tough to play because she is such a good friend,” Cirstea said of the 25-year-old Gallovits, who she now holds a 3-0 career head-to-head against, including a straight-set win over her in the first round at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships.

Cirstea has dropped just one set in the tournament, which came in the first round against American Irina Falconi. “After I survived that first round I started feeling more confidence,” she said.

The lefty Lepchenko got her revenge against Lucic, who beat her last week in the semifinals at the Albuquerque, N.M., Pro Circuit event. In that match, Lepchenko was actually up a set and a break before letting Lucic back in the match which Lucic ultimately won, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. “I did start to remember about last week when I was up 3-0 and 4-1 in the second set,” Lepchenko said. “I just had to keep reminding myself to stay aggressive.”

A native of Uzbekistan, Lepchenko currently resides in Allentown, Pa. She has lived in the United States since 2001 after receiving political asylum and became a U.S. citizen in 2007.

In the doubles final on Sunday at 11 a.m., wild cards Falconi and Maria Sanchez will face No. 4 seeds Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy.

Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Results

wc: wild card

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), def. Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), 6-3, 6-4

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), 6-3, 6-4

Sunday’s Finals Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at 11 a.m.

Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S. (wc), vs. Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4)

Followed by Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), vs. Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3)

The tournament title sponsor is Lexus of Las Vegas with the presenting sponsor Hand Surgery Specialists of Nevada. Thank you to all the members who sponsored the tournament, including Dan Jackson with Raymond James, Kate Lowe of State Farm. Dwain Frazier of All State, Rob Weisbord of CW Las Vegas, Keith Brille of Women’s Specialty Care and Dr. Jeffrey Ng, .MD, among many others.

For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com.

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner                                                Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros (HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami (JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES: Prize Money               Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                   Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $2,660

Runner-up                     $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.

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

ATP Launches Art Series

LONDON, ENGLAND – The ATP has commissioned the world’s top tennis players to create a series of one-of-a-kind self-portraits in celebration of their qualification for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at The O2 in London from 21-28 November.

The world’s leading players used their tennis skills to create individual masterpieces by hitting paint covered tennis balls against large art canvases. Each canvas was overlaid with a stencilled image, which, when removed, revealed a unique self-portrait showing one of the player’s signature moves on court.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals sees the Top 8 men’s tennis players in the world battle it out against each other for the last title of the season. Players compete for South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the $1.6m prize money on offer for the winner.

The artwork created by the final eight players will be exhibited for public viewing in Central London in early November, and during tournament week at the new Fan Zone at The O2. The artwork then will be auctioned off for charity with tennis fans around the world getting the chance to bid on a rare piece of art created and signed by their favourite player.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have already qualified for the tournament. The remaining six places are still up for grabs, as a chasing pack featuring the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick continue to battle for rankings points at ATP World Tour events during the remainder of the season in order to finish among the Top 8.

Nadal, the 2010 Wimbledon, Roland Garros and US Open Champion, is looking forward to returning to London in November. “Making the artwork was fun and something I’ve never done before. It’s a great way to celebrate the World Tour Finals coming back to London. Last year the crowd and the stadium were amazing although I didn’t play my best tennis. Hopefully this year I will arrive playing well again and will try to do my best in front of the London fans who add such a special feeling to the event,” said the World No.1.

Federer, a four-time winner of the season-ending tournament, has qualified for the event for a ninth consecutive year. “They staged a fantastic event at The O2 last year and I look forward to returning in November and finishing the season strong. It was great fun being invited to create my self-portrait and I’m excited to see how the finished artwork looks hanging in the gallery,” said the Swiss.

The tournament is the world’s biggest indoor tennis event, where each of the top eight players are drawn to play a minimum of three round-robin matches to determine which four players advance to the knockout semi-finals. Tickets are available online at www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.

Nadal Clinches Year End No. 1 For The Second Time

LONDON, ENGLAND – For the second time in three years Rafael Nadal will finish as the No. 1 player in the year-end South African Airways ATP Rankings.

The 24-year-old Spaniard is the ninth player in the history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973) to finish as ATP World Tour Champion at least twice. He and rival Roger Federer are the only players since 2000 to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking in the week after the US Open. Federer did it in 2004 and ’06.

Nadal said: “It has been an incredible season – one of my best ever, if not the best. Winning the US Open together with Roland Garros and Wimbledon, as well as the three back-to-back (ATP World Tour) Masters 1000s in Europe, was not easy.  I worked very hard to get back to the top and it feels really good to know I will end the year as No.1.”

Nadal will be officially crowned as the 2010 ATP World Tour Champion during a special ceremony at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nov. 21-28. Nadal and Federer are the first two players to qualify for the eight-man field. He is the third left-hander to finish No. 1 at least twice, joining Jimmy Connors (five times, 1974-78) and John McEnroe (four times, 1981-84).

On Monday, Nadal became the seventh man in history to achieve a career Grand Slam as he earned his first US Open title. He is also the first player to win three straight Grand Slam titles in the same year since Rod Laver won all four in 1969. Nadal is the youngest player in the Open Era to achieve a career Grand Slam. It was the Mallorcan native’s ninth career Grand Slam crown and he is the second-youngest player behind Bjorn Borg to win nine Slam titles.

Nadal also joins Ivan Lendl and Federer as the only players to have held, lost and regained the year-end No. 1 ranking in the 37-year history of the South African Airways ATP Rankings (since 1973). Lendl held the year-end No. 1 ranking from 1985-87 and finished No. 2 in 1988 before reclaiming No. 1 in 1989. Federer was No. 1 from 2004-07, went to No. 2 in ’08 and then returned to the top spot last year.

Nadal leads the ATP World Tour with six titles and a 59-7 match record in 2010. Since April he has won 43 of 46 matches, winning six of nine tournaments, including three consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay court events (Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid) and his fifth Roland Garros title in six years. In July, he captured his second Wimbledon title in three years.

ATP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONS (since 1973) MULTIPLE ATP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONS
Year Player Player Number of titles.
2010 Rafael Nadal (Spain) Pete Sampras 6
2009 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Jimmy Conners 5
2008 Rafael Nadal (Spain) Roger Federer 5
2007 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Ivan Lendl 4
2006 Roger Federer (Switzerland) John McEnroe 4
2005 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Bjorn Borg 2
2004 Roger Federer (Switzerland) Stefan Edberg 2
2003 Andy Roddick (U.S.) Lleyton Hewitt 2
2002 Llyeton Hewitt (Australia) Rafael Nadal 2
2001 Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
2000 Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil)
1999 Andre Agassi (U.S.)
1998 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1997 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1996 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1995 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1994 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1993 Pete Sampras (U.S.)
1992 Jim Courier (U.S.)
1991 Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1990 Stefan Edberg (Sweden)
1989 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1988 Mats Wilander (Sweden)
1987 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1986 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1985 Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic)
1984 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1983 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1982 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1981 John McEnroe (U.S.)
1980 Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1979 Bjorn Borg (Sweden)
1978 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1977 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1976 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1975 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1974 Jimmy Connors (U.S.)
1973 Ilie Nastase (Romania)

About the ATP
The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia and Europe to Africa; from North and South America to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles at Grand Slams (non ATP members), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season the world’s top 8 ranked singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete in the season’s climax – the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event determines the final South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.

Meltzer and Petzschner Qualify for ATP world Tour Finals

LONDON, ENGLAND – Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner have qualified for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, scheduled to take place at The O2 in London from 21-28 November. The Austrian-German team joins the world’s top 2 doubles teams, Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan and Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic, as the first three teams to qualify for the doubles event.

Melzer & Petzschner currently stand in 7th place in the 2010 ATP Doubles Team Rankings, but they are nevertheless assured of their place in London by virtue of their Wimbledon Grand Slam title combined with a guaranteed finish inside the world’s top 20.

The team’s qualification was confirmed following Bob and Mike Bryan’s triumph over Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in last weekend’s US Open final. The Indian-Pakistani team represented the only remaining threat to the Wimbledon champions, but defeat for Bopanna and Qureshi at Flushing Meadows finally sealed qualification for Melzer & Petzschner regardless of whether they finish inside the Top 8 of the 2010 ATP Doubles Team Rankings.

The remaining 2010 Grand Slam winning teams – Bryan/Bryan (Australian Open & US Open) & Nestor/Zimonjic (Roland Garros) – have already qualified thanks to guaranteed finishes inside the year-end Top 8.

Following his qualification in doubles, Melzer has now set his sights on making history by becoming the first player to qualify in both singles and doubles at the season-ending event since Emilio Sanchez (w/Casal) in 1990. Currently lying in 11th place in the Year-To-Date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, Melzer is poised to challenge for one of the elite eight singles berths as the season unfolds over the next two months.

“To qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London is one of the best things you can do. It’s great to qualify in doubles already and we look forward to being there. Of course, it would be great to be there in singles as well – it would be a huge achievement. If you qualify in singles and doubles, it means you’ve had one hell of a season!” said the Austrian No.1.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have already qualified for the season-ending singles event. The remaining six places are still up for grabs, as a chasing pack featuring the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick continue to battle for rankings points at ATP World Tour events during the remainder of the season in order to finish among the Top 8.

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – The Contenders
Year-to-Date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings & 2010 ATP Doubles Team Rankings
Rank Player Points* Rank Team Points
1 R. Nadal (ESP) 10,840 1 Bryan/Bryan 9,875
2 R. Federer (SUI) 6,025 2 Nestor/Zimonjic 7,325
3 N. Djokovic (SRB) 4,755 3 Dlouhy/Paes 3,835
4 A. Murray (GRB) 4,045 4 Kubot/Marach 2,925
5 R. Soderling (SWE) 3,960 5 Moodie/Norman 2,880
6 T. Berdych (CZE) 3,535 6 Bopanna/Qureshi 2,800
7 A. Roddick (USA) 3,170 7 Bhupathi/Mirnyi 2,745
8 F. Verdasco (ESP) 3,140 7=. Melzer/Petzschner 2,745
- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – - - – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -
9 D. Ferrer (ESP) 3,000 9 Aspelin/Hanley 2,690
10 M. Youzhny (RUS) 2,510 10 Lindstedt/Tecau 2,650

Players in bold have qualified.
* Year-to-Date South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings FAQ