Williams leads next round of qualifications for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul

NEW YORK, NY, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that Serena Williams and the doubles teams of Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka and Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond have qualified 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 would like to extend my congratulations to Serena, Andrea, Lucie, Liezel and Lisa on qualifying for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Serena has had an incredible year, becoming the only player in history to achieve a golden career Grand Slam in both singles and doubles, and winning her 5th Wimbledon and 4th US Open titles. Serena’s love of the sport and relentless determination to win continues to inspire generations of tennis fans from around the world.”

 

“Andrea and Lucie’s outstanding play has seen them reach the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open, in addition to winning a silver medal at the Olympics. It is a wonderful moment for them to qualify for their first WTA Championships. Liezel and Lisa continue to set the bar for dedication and commitment, capturing five titles and spending 20 weeks as co-No.1s on top of the WTA doubles rankings. It will be great to see them back in Istanbul to defend their title.”

 

Serena Williams

 

This season Williams has added more highlights to her resume, including winning two gold medals at the Olympics to achieve a career golden Grand Slam in singles and doubles, securing her 14th and 15th Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, and surpassing sister Venus for the most titles won by an active player (45).

 

The 30-year-old has compiled a 53-4 record this season and a tour-leading six titles, bolstering her Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open victories with wins at the Family Circle Cup (Charleston), Mutua Madrid Open and Bank of the West Classic (Stanford). She is undefeated against Top 5 opponents this year (10-0), and with her tally of 15 wins, only one player can boast more defeats over World No.1 players (Navratilova, 18; equal with Davenport, 15).

 

Williams has qualified for the WTA Championships on nine occasions during her career, and is set to compete for the first time since 2009. The American is a two-time champion at the event – receiving a walkover in the 2001 final against Davenport, and defeating sister Venus in 2009 – in addition to reaching the final in 2002 (runner-up to Clijsters) and 2004 (runner-up to Sharapova in three sets).

 

Click on the link to hear Serena’s thoughts on her season and qualifying for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul: http://youtu.be/D-xgx4R9gvg

 

Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka

 

“It is such an unbelievable feeling to have qualified for the WTA Championships,” said Hradecka. “I watched the matches last year, and Petra Kvitova told us how amazing the tournament was, so we are really looking forward to it.”

 

“When we were planning our goals at the start of the year, our focus was really on the Olympics, but as the results started to come, we began to think it might be possible to qualify for Istanbul,” said Hlavackova. “It’s great that we’ll be playing indoors on a fast surface, and we’re going to have some fun and make the most of the week.”

 

The Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka has advanced to seven finals so far this season, winning titles at ASB Classic (Auckland), Memphis International, and Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati), in addition to finishing runners-up at Wimbledon, US Open and the Olympics.

 

First teaming together in 2008 they have collected eight titles, including last year’s Roland Garros, and in doing so became the first all-Czech pairing to win a Grand Slam doubles title since Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova won Wimbledon in 1990. Both players will be making their WTA Championships debut, and will follow in the footsteps of Novotna/Sukova who were the last Czech team to contest the WTA Championships, also in 1990.

 

Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond

 

“One of our goals this year was to return to Istanbul and defend our title at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships,” said Huber. “Istanbul was a memorable experience last year and I am excited to be heading there again in October. The doubles competition there will be tough and I’m sure the fans will see some of the best tennis all year.”

 

“I’m thrilled to qualify for my twelfth WTA Championships and am looking forward to ending the year hopefully on a high note in Turkey!” said Raymond.

 

Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond are two of the WTA’s most decorated doubles players. This season they have reached eight finals and captured five titles: Open GDF SUEZ (Paris [Indoors]), Qatar Total Open (Doha), Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and New Haven Open at Yale.

 

Between them, Huber and Raymond own 132 doubles titles, including 11 Grand Slams and 7 Championships, including last year in Istanbul. Huber has spent 199 weeks at the top of the WTA’s doubles rankings – behind only Navratilova’s 237 weeks – while at 39 years of age, Raymond is the oldest player ever to hold the WTA No.1 ranking in singles or doubles.

 

Huber will be making her sixth appearance at the year-end finale. The 36-year-old is a three-time winner of the WTA Championships, having won in 2007-08 with Cara Black, and last year with Raymond. This will be 39-year-old Raymond’s 12th journey to the event, having first qualified in 1994. Including last year’s victory, she has won the title four times; also in 2001 with Rennae Stubbs, and 2005-06 with Samantha Stosur.

 

These players join the already-qualified Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Five singles and one doubles spot remains open for this year’s player field.

 

RACE TO THE TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS-ISTANBUL

(players/teams in bold already qualified)

PLAYER

POINTS

  TEAM

POINTS

Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

8686

  Errani / Vinci

10097

Maria Sharapova

8190

  Hlavackova / Hradecka

7100

Serena Williams (USA)

7900

  Huber / Raymond

7036

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

6296

  Kirilenko / Petrova

4555

Petra Kvitova (CZE)

5310

 

Llaogstera Vives / Martinez Sanchez

3737

Angelique Kerber (GER)

5080

  Kops-Jones / Spears

3143

Sara Errani (ITA)

4820

 

Li Na (CHN)

4152

 

Samantha Stosur (AUS)

3571

Marion Bartoli (FRA)

3345

 

 

 

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

Hatem Vural, Accord PR, +902122754710, hvural@accord-pr.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.

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI REGAINS WTA WORLD NO.1 RANKING

DUBAI – By reaching the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Caroline Wozniacki will return to the top of the WTA Rankings on Monday, February 21, 2011.  Wozniacki will surpass the current WTA World No.1 Kim Clijsters who ascended to the top of the rankings last week for the fourth time in her career.  Wozniacki is projected to hold the top spot for at least four weeks through March 20, 2011.  In addition to finishing the 2010 season as the World No.1 ranked player, she held the top ranking for a total of 18 consecutive weeks prior to being overtaken by Clijsters.

Only the 10th player to end the season as the World No.1 since the WTA ranking system was introduced in 1975, Wozniacki became the first player from Denmark to reach the top ranking.  Wozniacki had a career-best season in 2010, capturing a WTA-leading six titles including the China Open (Beijing), the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo), and the Rogers Cup (Montreal).  She also won the MPS Group Championships (Ponte Vedra Beach), the e-Boks Sony Ericsson Open, the Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale (New Haven) and reached the final of the year-end WTA Championships, falling to Clijsters in three sets.  Playing her first Grand Slam as a World No.1, Wozniacki reached the semifinals of the Australian Open earlier this year, losing to China’s Li Na.

TOTAL WEEKS AT WTA WORLD NO.1

PLAYER DATE REACHED No.1 WEEKS*
Steffi Graf (GER) August 17, 1987 377
Martina Navratilova (TCH/USA) July 10, 1978 332
Chris Evert (USA) November 3, 1975 260
Martina Hingis (SUI) March 31, 1997 209
Monica Seles (YUG/USA) March 11, 1991 178
Serena Williams (USA) July 8, 2002 123
Justine Henin (BEL) October 20, 2003 117
Lindsay Davenport (USA) October 12, 1998 98
Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) September 13, 2004 39
Dinara Safina (RUS) April 20, 2009 26
Tracy Austin (USA) April 7, 1980 21
Kim Clijsters (BEL) August 11, 2003 20
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) October 11, 2010 19
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) August 11, 2008 18
Jennifer Capriati (USA) October 15, 2001 17
Maria Sharapova (RUS) August 22, 2005 17
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) June 9, 2008 12
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (ESP) February 6, 1995 12
Venus Williams (USA) February 25, 2002 11
Evonne Goolagong (AUS) April 26, 1976 2

Chart as of February 21, 2011 / * Total weeks at No.1; can be non-consecutive

10 Players, 10 Countries in New WTA Rankings

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the global leader in women’s professional sport, announced today that for the first time in its history, the Top 10 rankings will feature ten players from ten different countries around the world.  Eleven different nations are represented among the top 11 spots, and 30 different countries among the top 60 ranked players.

The WTA Top 10 Rankings for week of January 31, 2011, released earlier today, are as follows:

1.       Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

2.       Kim Clijsters (BEL)

3.       Vera Zvonareva (RUS)

4.       Francesca Schiavone (ITA)

5.       Samantha Stosur (AUS)

6.       Venus Williams (USA)

7.       Li Na (CHN)

8.       Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

9.       Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

10.     Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

Shahar Peer reaches a career-high ranking of World No.11, a record for a player from Israel.  Francesca Schiavone becomes the first player from Italy to break into the Top 5 while Kim Clijsters of Belgium ascends to World No.2 for the first time since August 2006.  After making history at the Australian Open by reaching the ladies’ singles final, Li Na becomes the first Chinese player to ascend to a career-high ranking of World No.7.  Li Na’s success in Australia promises to have an exponential impact on the growth of women’s tennis in China, the world’s most populous country.

“Our players are inspirational national heroes who transcend sport in their respective countries.  Having ten different players represent the Top 10 rankings shows how truly global tennis has become,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA.

The WTA’s calendar for the 2011 season features 53 tournaments and four Grand Slams in 32 countries including 23 events in Europe, 16 in the Americas and 18 in Asia.  The 2012 calendar will feature 54 events, four Grand Slams and the Olympic Tennis Event, with the geographic spread of events to include 20 in Asia, 23 in Europe and 16 in the Americas.  In 2013, the WTA Calendar will showcase 54 WTA events and the four Grand Slams, with 20 events in Asia, 22 in Europe and 16 in the Americas.

New WTA Rankings

1 1 Williams, Serena 26/09/81 USA 6995 14
2 2 Wozniacki, Caroline 11/07/90 DEN 5910 24
3 3 Williams, Venus 17/06/80 USA 5796 16
4 4 Zvonareva, Vera 07/09/84 RUS 5550 20
5 5 Clijsters, Kim 08/06/83 BEL 5325 13
6 6 Jankovic, Jelena 28/02/85 SRB 5205 21
7 7 Stosur, Samantha 30/03/84 AUS 4950 19
8 8 Schiavone, Francesca 23/06/80 ITA 4670 24
9 9 Radwanska, Agnieszka 06/03/89 POL 3995 21
10 10 Dementieva, Elena 15/10/81 RUS 3945 20
11 11 Azarenka, Victoria 31/07/89 BLR 3715 20
12 12 Li, Na 26/02/82 CHN 3520 20
13 13 Kuznetsova, Svetlana 27/06/85 RUS 3516 18
14 14 Bartoli, Marion 02/10/84 FRA 3455 22
15 15 Sharapova, Maria 19/04/87 RUS 3450 14
16 16 Henin, Justine 01/06/82 BEL 3415 10
17 17 Peer, Shahar 01/05/87 ISR 3140 23
18 18 Rezai, Aravane 14/03/87 FRA 3100 27
19 19 Petrova, Nadia 08/06/82 RUS 3001 20
20 20 Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia 03/07/91 RUS 2780 23
21 21 Wickmayer, Yanina 20/10/89 BEL 2690 23
22 22 Pennetta, Flavia 25/02/82 ITA 2565 25
23 23 Zheng, Jie 05/07/83 CHN 2291 20
24 24 Kirilenko, Maria 25/01/87 RUS 2275 22
25 25 Martinez Sanchez, Maria Jose 12/08/82 ESP 2225 18
26 26 Kanepi, Kaia 10/06/85 EST 2220 22
27 27 Dulgheru, Alexandra 30/05/89 ROU 2080 29
28 29 Kleybanova, Alisa 15/07/89 RUS 1935 24
29 30 Hantuchova, Daniela 23/04/83 SVK 1925 23
30 28 Safarova, Lucie 04/02/87 CZE 1905 26
31 32 Bondarenko, Alona 13/08/84 UKR 1783 19
32 31 Pironkova, Tsvetana 13/09/87 BUL 1775 24
33 33 Cibulkova, Dominika 06/05/89 SVK 1765 23
34 34 Kvitova, Petra 08/03/90 CZE 1749 20
35 35 Petkovic, Andrea 09/09/87 GER 1725 25
36 36 Shvedova, Yaroslava 12/09/87 KAZ 1615 25
37 37 Ivanovic, Ana 06/11/87 SRB 1588 16
38 38 Szavay, Agnes 29/12/88 HUN 1570 22
39 39 Zakopalova, Klara 24/02/82 CZE 1490 27
40 40 Errani, Sara 29/04/87 ITA 1460 29
41 55 Groth, Jarmila 26/04/87 AUS 1377 19
42 41 Goerges, Julia 02/11/88 GER 1261 24
43 43 Hercog, Polona 20/01/91 SLO 1225 26
44 44 Schnyder, Patty 14/12/78 SUI 1220 20
45 48 Arvidsson, Sofia 16/02/84 SWE 1214 24
46 45 Bacsinszky, Timea 08/06/89 SUI 1210 24
47 42 Govortsova, Olga 23/08/88 BLR 1206 29
48 46 Dulko, Gisela 30/01/85 ARG 1192 19
49 47 Makarova, Ekaterina 07/06/88 RUS 1176 25
50 49 Baltacha, Elena 14/08/83 GBR 1174 25
51 50 Date Krumm, Kimiko 28/09/70 JPN 1165 20
52 51 Zahlavova Strycova, Barbora 28/03/86 CZE 1163 29
53 53 Medina Garrigues, Anabel 31/07/82 ESP 1155 27
54 56 Kerber, Angelique 18/01/88 GER 1086 22
55 57 Benesova, Iveta 01/02/83 CZE 1080 26
56 58 Parra Santonja, Arantxa 09/11/82 ESP 1078 26
57 54 Sevastova, Anastasija 13/04/90 LAT 1075 23
58 63 Suarez Navarro, Carla 03/09/88 ESP 1065 20
59 59 Safina, Dinara 27/04/86 RUS 1061 19
60 60 Amanmuradova, Akgul 23/06/84 UZB 1031 27
61 52 Peng, Shuai 08/01/86 CHN 1026 15
62 61 Vinci, Roberta 18/02/83 ITA 1026 24
63 71 Mattek-Sands, Bethanie 23/03/85 USA 1017 16
64 62 Dushevina, Vera 06/10/86 RUS 1010 23
65 66 Rodionova, Anastasia 12/05/82 AUS 975 29
66 67 Larsson, Johanna 17/08/88 SWE 961 24
67 73 Oudin, Melanie 23/09/91 USA 941 23
68 64 Chan, Yung-Jan 17/08/89 TPE 939 26
69 68 Chakvetadze, Anna 05/03/87 RUS 907 18
70 69 Bammer, Sybille 27/04/80 AUT 895 23
71 65 Wozniak, Aleksandra 07/09/87 CAN 885 22
72 72 Vesnina, Elena 01/08/86 RUS 885 22
73 70 Kulikova, Regina 30/01/89 RUS 866 16
74 75 Oprandi, Romina 29/03/86 ITA 847 25
75 74 Garbin, Tathiana 30/06/77 ITA 836 24
76 76 King, Vania 03/02/89 USA 825 23
77 77 Flipkens, Kirsten 10/01/86 BEL 825 20
78 78 Voracova, Renata 06/10/83 CZE 822 35
79 79 Barrois, Kristina 30/09/81 GER 814 24
80 100 Gallovits, Edina 10/12/84 ROU 806 24
81 81 Niculescu, Monica 25/09/87 ROU 801 27
82 103 Kudryavtseva, Alla 03/11/87 RUS 796 27
83 101 Zhang, Shuai 21/01/89 CHN 796 20
84 88 Cornet, Alize 22/01/90 FRA 785 28
85 82 Dokic, Jelena 12/04/83 AUS 782 17
86 83 Zahlavova, Sandra 10/10/85 CZE 765 39
87 86 Chang, Kai-Chen 13/01/91 TPE 760 28
88 85 Rybarikova, Magdalena 04/10/88 SVK 750 25
89 89 Molik, Alicia 27/01/81 AUS 741 27
90 90 Lisicki, Sabine 22/09/89 GER 738 17
91 94 Ondraskova, Zuzana 03/05/80 CZE 734 21
92 151 Paszek, Tamira 06/12/90 AUT 728 21
93 92 Bondarenko, Kateryna 08/08/86 UKR 719 17
94 87 Meusburger, Yvonne 03/10/83 AUT 717 26
95 91 Jovanovski, Bojana 31/12/91 SRB 715 26
96 80 Morita, Ayumi 11/03/90 JPN 707 27
97 111 Tanasugarn, Tamarine 24/05/77 THA 706 18
98 93 Scheepers, Chanelle 13/03/84 RSA 704 25
99 107 Pervak, Ksenia 27/05/91 RUS 693 27
100 96 Halep, Simona 27/09/91 ROU 693 24