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

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

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

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

Jelena Jankovic:

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

Elena Dementieva:

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

RACE TO THE WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS–DOHA 2010

as of the week of October 4, 2010

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

** Denotes player/team has already qualified

* Denotes player that has qualified yet withdrew due to injury

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

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour – Beijing (final): Wozniacki Caps Rise to No.1 With China Open Crown

CHINA OPEN
Beijing-CHN
October 2-10, 2010
$4,500,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Monday, October 11, 2010
Singles – Final
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 63 36 63

Doubles – Final (played Saturday)
Chuang/Govortsova (TPE/BLR) d. (1) Dulko/Pennetta (ARG/ITA) 76(2) 16 107 (Match TB)

Final Facts
- Wozniacki wins a Tour-leading sixth singles title of the season, and the 12th of her career, having won the 11th at Tokyo just last week. She is now 12-7 in Tour singles finals.
– Before this Asian swing, the 20-year-old Dane had never won a match at either the China Open or the Toray Pan Pacific Open. Including Montréal (August) she now has three Premier-level titles on her record.
– Wozniacki has won a Tour-leading 59 singles matches this year. Zvonareva has registered 46 match wins (third best).
– By reaching the quarterfinals at Beijing, Wozniacki ensured her rise to No.1 in the rankings the week beginning Monday, October 11. Replacing the injured Serena Williams, Wozniacki is the 20th woman to hold the top spot since the inception of computer rankings in 1975.
– Zvonareva is now 10-16 in Tour singles finals, but rises to a new-career-high ranking of No.3 this week.
– Chuang Chia-Jung and Olga Govortsova win their first Tour doubles title together, having never previously been past the quarterfinals in a partnership that began earlier this year. Their victims en route included three of the four teams that have qualified for the season-ending WTA Championships: No.2 seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik; No.4 seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova; and No.1 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.
– Chuang now has 15 doubles titles to her name; Govortsova owns four.

Final Quotes
Caroline Wozniacki, 2010 China Open singles champion:

“I thought I played a really, really good match. Vera was playing really well too. Everything is working for me at the moment. I’ve got to believe I can beat anyone. I feel in great shape and I’m looking forward to Doha.”

Vera Zvonareva, 2010 China Open singles runner-up:
“Rankings don’t matter too much to me, because I knew if I play well I’ll win matches and the ranking will come. If I go on court and think about everything but my game, I won’t be able to win any match and my ranking wouldn’t be there. I just think about what I have to do on the court to win.”

Chuang Chia-Jung, 2010 China Open doubles champion:
“Because it’s in China it’s very special for me. Olga and I have played together about half a year now and this was our best week together. We played aggressively and that was the key today.”

Olga Govortsova, 2010 China Open doubles champion:
“Almost all of our matches this week went to a tie-break, and when we get there we play so focused. CJ was hitting great volleys and I was hitting hard from the baseline. Gisela and Flavia are so good, we’re really happy. I’ve been to Beijing nine or 10 times now. I can’t wait to come back again.”

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour – Beijing (Sat): Winning Start for Jankovic

CHINA OPEN
Beijing-CHN
October 2-10, 2010
$4,500,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Saturday, October 2, 2010
Singles – First Round
(3) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 75 75
Alona Bondarenko (UKR) d. (WC) Zhou Yi-Miao (CHN) 62 60
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 62 63
Elena Vesnina (RUS) d. Agnes Szavay (HUN) 76(4) 16 63
Patty Schnyder (SUI) d. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 61 64
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Julia Goerges (GER) 36 64 76(4)
Olga Govortsova (BLR) d. María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 63 62
Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 60 64

Doubles – First Round
Jans/Rosolska (POL/POL) d. Dzehalevich/Poutchek (BLR/BLR) 75 62

Singles Qualifying – Final Round
(1) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (11) Vania King (USA) 61 16 63
Lu Jing-Jing (CHN) d. (2) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 63 63
(3) Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) d. (12) Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 63 76(3)
(4) Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) d. Sophie Ferguson (AUS) 64 62
(5) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. (9) Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 63 63
(6) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Greta Arn (HUN) 64 62
(14) Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) d. (7) Anna Chakvetadze (RUS) 60 76(6)
(16) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. (8) Arantxa Parra Santonja (ESP) 62 62

Order of Play – Sunday, October 3, 2010
Lotus Court (from 12.30hrs)
1. Zhang Shuai vs. Maria Kirilenko
2. Maria Sharapova vs. Tsvetana Pironkova
3. Roberta Vinci vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
4. Alla Kudryavtseva vs. Li Na (NB 19.30hrs)
5. Kaia Kanepi vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Moon Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Yanina Wickmayer vs. Dominika Cibulkova
2. Nadia Petrova vs. Han Xinyun
3. Anastasija Sevastova vs. Samantha Stosur
4. Azarenka/Safina vs. Sun/Zhang (after suitable rest)
5. Daniela Hantuchova vs. Polona Hercog (NB 19.30hrs)

Court 1 (from 12.00hrs)
1. Alisa Kleybanova vs. Lu Jing-Jing
2. Aravane Rezai vs. Gisela Dulko
3. Flavia Pennetta vs. Petra Kvitova

Court 3 (from 12.00hrs)
1. ATP: Mathieu vs. Gabashvili
2. Bojana Jovanovski vs. Kateryna Bondarenko
3. Scheepers/Schnyder vs. Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez
4. Bondarenko/Bondarenko vs. Chuang/Govortsova (after suitable rest)

Court 4 (from 12.00hrs)
1. ATP: Marchenko vs. Russell
2. ATP: Kubot vs. Schuettler (NB 14.00hrs)
3. ATP: Berrer vs. Zemlja
4. Lefèvre/Zakopalova vs. Grandin/Hsieh

Tokyo (Tues): Wozniacki Wins, Goerges Ousts Stosur

TORAY PAN PACIFIC OPEN
Tokyo-JPN
September 26-October 2, 2010
$2,000,000/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Singles – Second Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (Q) Greta Arn (HUN) 61 63
(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Sara Errani (ITA) 63 63
Julia Goerges (GER) d. (4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 75 63
(5) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU) 75 63
(7) Elena Dementieva (RUS) d. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 60 61
(8) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 61 63
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. (10) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 63 75
(11) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 62 61
Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. (13) Shahar Peer (ISR) 63 76(5)
(Q) Coco Vandeweghe (USA) d. (14) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 64 64
(16) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 62 61
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 63 46 63
(Q) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 64 62
(WC) Kimiko Date Krumm (JPN) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 26 60 40 ret. (right shoulder injury)

Doubles – First Round
Raymond/Stubbs (USA/AUS) d. Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez (ESP/ESP) 75 61
Benesova/Zahlavova Strycova (CZE/CZE) d. Hsieh/Kleybanova (TPE/RUS) 67(7) 61 119 (Match TB)

Order of Play – Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Centre Court (from 11.00hrs)
1. Roberta Vinci vs. Vera Zvonareva
2. Elena Dementieva vs. Flavia Pennetta
3. Francesca Schiavone vs. Kimiko Date Krumm
4. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (NB 17.00hrs)
5. Kaia Kanepi vs. Jelena Jankovic
6. Dulko/Pennetta vs. Date Krumm/Morita

Court 1 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Marion Bartoli vs. Victoria Azarenka
2. Julia Goerges vs. Coco Vandeweghe
3. Andrea Petkovic vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
4. Garbin/Schiavone vs. King/Shvedova (after suitable rest)

Court 2 (from 12.00hrs)
1. Kirilenko/Petrova vs. Peschke/Srebotnik
2. Errani/Medina Garrigues vs. Peer/Peng
3. Chan/Huber vs. Goerges/Rodionova (after suitable rest)

Seoul (Tues): Rain Scuppers Play

HANSOL KOREA OPEN
Seoul-KOR
September 20-26, 2010
$220,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Tuesday, September 21, 2010

(all matches cancelled due to rain)

Order of Play – Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Centre Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Kimiko Date Krumm vs. Junri Namigata
2. Maria Kirilenko vs. Urszula Radwanska
3. Dinara Safina vs. Simona Halep
4. Vera Dushevina vs. Ana Ivanovic
5. Nadia Petrova vs. Jarmila Groth (NB 18.00hrs)

Court 2 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Hsieh Su-Wei vs. María José Martínez Sánchez
2. Anastasia Rodionova vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
3. Alberta Brianti vs. Vania King
4. Kirsten Flipkens vs. Bojana Jovanovski
5. King/Shvedova vs. Lu/Xu

Court 13 (from 11.00hrs)
1. Agnes Szavay vs. Polona Hercog
2. Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Yaroslava Shvedova
3. Julia Goerges vs. Klara Zakopalova
4. Grandin/Uhlirova vs. Pelletier/Rosolska
5. Goerges/Hercog vs. Kleybanova/Yan

Kleybanova Cruises in Korea

HANSOL KOREA OPEN
Seoul-KOR
September 20-26, 2010
$220,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Monday, September 20, 2010
Singles – First Round
(5) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) d. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) 62 63
Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. (WC) Kim So-Jung (KOR) 63 64
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 62 36 75
Ksenia Pervak (RUS) d. Chan Yung-Jan (TPE) 64 75

Doubles – First Round
Date Krumm/Morita (JPN/JPN) d. Ferguson/Fujiwara (AUS/JPN) 76(4) 64
Chang/Lee (KOR/KOR) d. (WC) Han/Hong (KOR/KOR) 64 61

Singles Qualifying – Final Round
(2) Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) d. Zhang Ling (HKG) 62 61
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (7) Sophie Ferguson (AUS) 63 62
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) d. (5) Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 63 64
(9) Junri Namigata (JPN) d. Marie-Ève Pelletier (CAN) 63 76(4)

Order of Play – Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Centre Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Kimiko Date Krumm vs. Junri Namigata
2. Maria Kirilenko vs. Urszula Radwanska
3. Dinara Safina vs. Simona Halep
4. Vera Dushevina vs. Ana Ivanovic
5. Nadia Petrova vs. Jarmila Groth (NB 18.00hrs)

Court 2 (from 12.00hrs)
1. Anastasia Rodionova vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
2. Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Yaroslava Shvedova
3. Alberta Brianti vs. Vania King
4. Julia Goerges vs. Klara Zakopalova
5. King/Shvedova vs. Lu/Xu

Court 13 (from 12.00hrs)
1. Agnes Szavay vs. Polona Hercog
2. Hsieh Su-Wei vs. María José Martínez Sánchez
3. Kirsten Flipkens vs. Bojana Jovanovski

Queens of Queens As King and Shvedova Win Women’s Doubles

The Doors’ “Love Me Two Times” echoed around a near-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium shortly before the climactic tie breaker of today’s US Open women’s final while Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova both bounced on their feet in nervous anticipation as if trying to tap thumb tacks into the court with the soles of their shoes.  It was an appropriate anthem for the pair whose affection for doubles is so strong they seem to play every point as if powered by passion.

Minutes later, they were moving their feet in unison on championship point, eye-to-eye with Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova entrenched at net rapidly repelling every drive streaming at them with reflex volleys.

That’s when Shvedova took decisive action: She took touch to new heights.

Taking a small step back, Shvedova measured her shot and lofted an exquisite rainbow lob down the line directly over the 5-foot-10 Petrova’s head. Working the short court down the line is a difficult shot  under any circumstances — it’s downright demanding given the magnitude of the moment.

“Up! Up! Up! Up!” Huber urged, imploring her partner to take a leap at the sailing shot that carried championship hopes in its flight.

Petrova jumped, but the yellow ball floated like a runaway kite beyond her outstretched Babolat racquet,slowly spiraled in the air for what seemed to be several seconds before  kissing the corner of the blue court for a clean winner to complete a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory as King and Shvedova captured their first US Open championship and second consecutive major following their title triumph at Wimbledon in July.

“For me, it was like slow motion. It’s like in the movie.  It’s unreal,” Shvedova said of her winning lob. “But for me it was like this. I saw the ball was so slow. Vania was on the left, I was just waiting, and I saw Nadia was trying to get it. Then I was like then she didn’t get it.  People start to scream, and I was like I didn’t feel like we won.  It was so strange.”

The stroke of genius was a shot of relief for King, who watched the end of the final exchange unfold in silent prayer.

“She played like 10 balls in a row.  It was like, ‘Okay.  Hit a winner, please hit a winner, please hit a winner, please hit a winner, please miss, please miss, ‘ ” King said of her internal emotional dialogue. “Then she hit the lob, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s deep.’  So if it goes in, we win.  If it doesn’t, we lose the point.  Then it’s the next point.  I was like, Go in, go in, go in, go in.”

It went in, but Shvedova, who hit also gorgeous backhand lob winner to hold serve at 5-6 and force the breaker, did not actually see the shot land. She felt its impact in King’s leap of joy.

“They didn’t call anything.  I turned to Vania, and Vania jumped.  I was like so happy,” Shvedova said.

Petrova, who would come in second place in emanating positive energy even if Eyore was her opponent in a singles match, had a slightly less enthusiastic response to the winner  — she flung her Babolat racquet in frustration at her court side chair.

“There’s nothing you can do. I mean, I could just applaud her,” Petrova said. “Well done.  We were trying out hard and to give all today, and absolutely no regret.”

The softest shot of the rally had the most resounding impact of the match, sealing the first US Open doubles for the pair, who raised their Grand Slam record together to 12-0. It’s a remarkable achievement when you consider King and Shvedova won only one match together during the US Open Series.

Sisters Venus Williams and Serena Williams had won six of the last nine Grand Slam doubles titles prior, but with Serena forced out of this Open with a foot injury the sisters were unable to defend their title. King and Shvedova, who became the first player from Kazakhstan to win a US Open title of any kind, saw the opportunity and made the most of it.

They have won the first two Grand Slam tournaments they’ve played and the speed of their success an ease of their partnership — they sometimes answer questions as if setting each other up for a response — has surprised both of them.

“I don’t think we expected it as well, because usually great pairs pair together for a long time to know each other, and they really get a feel for each other and become a true team,” King said. “We had that from the beginning.  I mean, we bonded together so well and we’re also good friends, which helped. Yeah, like she said, it’s strange. I mean, it’s amazing.”

Shvedova celebrated her 23rd birthday yesterday with King and a cake they ate inside the WTA Tour office upstairs inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Birthday banter did not include the 6-2, 2-6, 5-4 deficit the pair faced when rain postponed the doubles final on Sunday, forcing the USTA to schedule completion of the match at 3 p.m. today.

“Then when they canceled us, we went to dinner, and we were just focusing on her birthday,” King said. “It’s pretty special for her, for her birthday.  And then today, yeah, we decided to make a long warm up.  We don’t really talk that much about tennis off the court.  Our coaches like to do that.”

Huber partnered with Bob Bryan to win the US Open mixed doubles title and has been a pivotal player on the United States’ Fed Cup team that will host Italy in the November 6-7th final at the San Diego Sports Arena. Huber, who has a charitable foundation and supports social causes around the Houston area, was philosophical in defeat.

“I think we, as athletes, are very fortunate.  We can bring something good from the sport back to the normal life,” Huber said. “We can kind of relate. So in the tough times that we, are and maybe when you lose a point or you lose a close match like this when you’ve actually had an opportunity, you could walk away from it and sulk and not learn, or you could just say, ‘Okay, this is an opportunity to grow.’  And if you do okay in the bad times, imagine how good you’re gonna do when times turn around.”

Doubles is often relegated to the outer courts in the shadows of Arthur Ashe Stadium on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. A sad irony when you consider both Ashe and King were outstanding doubles players and that most of the tennis-playing fans who watch the Open play doubles. But when you rewind the highlight reel of this US Open consider that two of the most spirited and excited matches of the Flushing Meadows fortnight were contested on the doubles court. Twins Bob and Mike Bryan outdueled India’s Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) to capture their third US Open championship and ninth Grand Slam title before an appreciative Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd that gave all four men a rousing ovation at the conclusion of a memorable match and King and Shvedova prevailed before a sparse, but adoring group of fans today.

There’s something about seeing two athletes put their heads, hearts and spirits together on the court. Two were truly one when it mattered most today.

“Doubles is a team sport.  It’s not like singles where sometimes it’s just power,” said King. “I mean, I think especially in the woman’s tennis there is a lot of finesse, a lot of touch. We try to play with combination.  I don’t think we play like a typical team, and I think it kind of throws off our opponents.  I think that people can see us playing and kind of aspire to that, you know, because it’s more about strategy where you place yourself, what shots to pick. You don’t have to be like 6’4″, 200 pounds and bash the ball.In doubles it’s a lot of creativity.”

Rich Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.

Championship Sunday Postponed Until Monday

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rain, rain go away was the theme of the US Open on Sunday as the steady drizzle came down and pre-empted play.

The Women’s Doubles Finals will now take place tomorrow at 3 p.m. It was suspended in the third set with set still on serve. The team of Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova took the first set, 6-2 then the team of Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova rebounded during the second set to win 6-4. Play was suspended when the third set was 5-4 Huber/Petrova hold a 0-15 lead in the 10th game.

Then after that match – and not before 4 p.m. – the Men’s Finals will pit No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal against No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic. Nadal won his match over Mikhail Youzhny yesterday, 6-2 6-3 6-4. But Djokovic had to endure a 5-set classic over Roger Federer, 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5.

With an extra day off, the rain may help Djokovic as he will be able to recover from the Federer showdown. Both Nadal and Djokovic are looking for their first US Open Championship.