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

Henin Retires From Tennis

ending elbow injury that has forced the Belgian to hang up her racquet.  One of the WTA’s greatest players and a seven-time Grand Slam champion, Henin retired from the sport for the first time in March 2008 and became the first woman in the history of professional tennis to retire while ranked World No.1.  She made a successful comeback to tennis at the beginning of the 2010 season, reaching the final of the 2010 Australian Open and capturing two titles (the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart and the UNICEF Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch).  During a fourth-round loss to Kim Clijsters at 2010 Wimbledon, Henin suffered a right elbow injury and did not play for the remainder of the 2010 season.

On her official website, Henin said the following: “I turn, and this time, an incredible page of my life … What a wonderful trip, I have experienced during all these years.  Today I am calmer and I can create positive and rewarding look back on this experience in my life…Finally and most importantly, thanks everyone.  Thanks for standing by my side during all these years. I will never forget your support and your loyalty.”

“Justine Henin will go down as one of the greatest female athletes of her era.  She has been an incredible ambassador for women’s tennis on and off the court, and her fighting spirit, tremendous courage and ultimate success has captured the minds and hearts of millions of fans around the world,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.  “We have all been fortunate to once again have had the opportunity to witness the beauty of her game during these many past months, and no doubt we will miss seeing her on court competing like only Justine can.  In her young career Justine has already done so much to inspire and give back to others, and I am sure this will continue to be a big part of the next chapter of her life.”

Henin is a winner of 43 WTA singles titles – including seven Grand Slam championships – and has been ranked World No.1 for a total of 117 weeks (7th all time).  She has amassed more than $20 million in career prize money and is leaving the sport with a win-loss record of 527-116.

But more importantly than any statistic, 5-foot, 5 ¾-inch (1.67 m) Henin was renowned for her spectacular one-handed backhand, incredible athleticism and unrivalled mental fortitude and work ethic.

Among many accomplishments, Henin achieved the following:

  • Finished three seasons as the WTA World No.1 (2003, 2006, 2007)
  • Won seven Grand Slam singles titles (Roland Garros 2003, 2005-07; Australian Open 2004; US Open 2003, 2007)
  • In 2007-08, set personal best 32-match winning streak, longest streak since Venus Williams in 2000 (35); in 2007, posted a 63-4 (0.94) winning record, the best percentage in women’s tennis since 1989 (Graf 86-2, 0.977)
  • In 2006 became the seventh player in the Open Era to reach all four Grand Slam finals in the same calendar year (Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, and Martina Hingis).
  • Won 43 singles titles, including seven Grand Slams, two season-ending WTA Championships (2006, 2007) and an Olympic gold medal in singles in Athens in 2004
  • Helped lead Belgium to its first Fed Cup title in 2001.

After retiring from tennis in 2008, Henin turned her focus to charitable work, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and traveling to Cambodia and the Democratic Republic of Congo in that role throughout 2009.  She created the “Justine For Kids” association, the purpose of which is to help develop and fund projects to aid sick children and their families.  Henin founded the “Sixth Sense Academy” in 2007 with coach Carlos Rodriguez which has five locations – three in Belgium, one in Florida and the most recent one in China.

Guangzhou (final): Groth Serves Up First Title

LANDSKY LIGHTING GUANGZHOU INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S OPEN
Guangzhou-CHN
September 13-19, 2010
$220,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Sunday, September 19, 2010
Singles – Final
(1) Jarmila Groth (AUS) d. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 61 64

Doubles – Final
Gallovits/Mirza (ROU/IND) d. Han/Liu (CHN/CHN) 75 63

Final Facts
- 23-year-old Groth wins her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title, her previous best efforts being two semifinals (2010 Istanbul and 2008 Tokyo). She becomes the eighth first-time Tour singles title winner of the season, and the 15th top seed to triumph in 2010.
– The sole seed to reach the quarterfinals, world No.55 Groth conceded the fewest games en route to her title (15) of any tournament winner so far this year. Next best: Maria Sharapova lost 21 games on her way to winning at Memphis in February.
– Groth (formerly Gajdosova) was born in Slovakia but became an Australian citizen in 2009. She married Australian Sam Groth in February last year.
– Groth is projected to make her Top 50 debut when the rankings are released on Monday, September 20.
– Kudryavtseva was also playing her first Tour final. Earlier this year she won her second Tor doubles title, at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (w/Anastasia Rodionova).
– Edina Gallovits and Sania Mirza capture the doubles on their debut as a team. Gallovits now has two Tour doubles titles to her name, while Mirza has nine.

Final Quotes

Jarmila Groth, 2010 Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women’s Open singles champion:
“I didn’t give a lot of chances to my opponents this week and I was able to take mine and close out matches. I will be Top 50 now, which is really good, but hopefully I can get higher as the main goal is to be seeded for the Australian Open. I rang my husband straight after the match, but there won’t be much time to celebrate, unfortunately. I have a 9am flight to Seoul, where I play Nadia Petrova first round, so I’ll pretty much go back to the hotel and pack my bags!”

Alla Kudryavtseva, 2010 Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women’s Open singles runner-up:
“I’m a little disappointed but she played great tennis throughout the whole week so congratulations to her. We were both here without coaches and actually warmed up together before the match. We rode here together, warmed up together, and are probably going to the airport together tomorrow as well. So it was funny and a great time. I’m pretty sure I’ll be coming back next year as I have a lot of points to defend now!”

Edina Gallovits, 2010 Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women’s Open doubles champion:
“First of all it was a lot of fun playing with Sania. I was excited when I found out we were playing together and have really enjoyed the week. She’s a great player and really aggressive and that all helped us to play well together. I would love to play with her again.”

Sania Mirza, 2010 Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women’s Open doubles champion:
“We played great together and it’s great to win another tournament. It’s tough to play players you haven’t faced before, so I think that’s why it took some time to get into the match, but once we did that I thought we felt very comfortable and were able to secure the win.”