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Frequently Asked Questions

The Sony Ericsson Championships is the most prestigious and important tournament in professional women's tennis. It is the final event in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar, contested by only the very best players in the world.

The 2008 season will conclude in November with the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar. Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events are viewed across the globe, reaching hundreds of millions of households, and are immensely popular in person, attracting more than four million spectators worldwide.

Players accumulate points in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments during the year, and at the end of the season only the Top 8 singles players participate in the Sony Ericsson Championships. Justine Henin (1), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2), Jelena Jankovic (3), Ana Ivanovic (4), Serena Williams (5), Anna Chakvetadze (6), Daniela Hantuchova (7) and Maria Sharapova (8) participated in the Sony Ericsson Championships celebrated in Madrid in 2007. Justine Henin achieved the 2007 year-end No.1 ranking, along with the Championships title.

The doubles component of the Sony Ericsson Championships was played by the four best teams of the season. The victors in Madrid were Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

In the Sony Ericsson Championships the eight singles players are divided into two teams of four. From Tuesday through Friday the two groups play in a round robin format, meaning each player meets one another in their group. The two best-performed players of each group go on to the final phase that takes place during the weekend. In the semi-finals the first-placed woman from one group meets with the second-placed woman from the other, with the winners advancing to the final. All the matches are played to best-of-three-sets.

The four-team doubles event is a straight knockout affair, with the winning team essentially needing to score semi-final and final victories.

The Sony Ericsson Championships gives $4.45 million dollars in prize money in addition to being proclaimed the one of the best players of the season.

The Sony Ericsson Championships generates an immense amount of media coverage, unrivalled by any other women's only sports event.

This prestigious tournament will be celebrated in 2008 from November 4-9 at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, in the Qatari capital of Doha, venue for the current Qatar Total Open. Doha will also host the Sony Ericsson Championships in 2009 and 2010, before moving to Istanbul, Turkey, 2011 to 2013.

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the world's largest premier professional sport for women with more than 2,000 players representing 90 nations competing for $70.8 million in prize money at the Tour's 59 events in 34 countries. More than 4.7 million people attended women's tennis events in 2007 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world.

Tournaments per continent:
     24   Europe
     14   North America/Central America
     13   Asia
     5   Australia/New Zealand
     2   South America
     1   Africa

The Sony Ericsson Championships, the four Grand Slams and the 54 Tier Tournaments are part of the professional women's tennis circuit.

The 54 tournaments are classified in five groups according to the quantity of prize money that is given out.

Tier I: tournaments having minimum prize money of $ 1,340,000 and approved in this Tier by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. There are nine of these events.
Tier II: tournaments having minimum prize money of $ 600,000 and approved in this Tier by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. There are 14 of these events.
Tier III: tournaments having minimum prize money of $ 175,000 and approved in the Tier by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. There are 18 of these events.
Tier IV: tournaments having minimum prize money of $ 145,000 and approved in the Tier by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. There are 13 of these events.

Players accumulate points during the season in these tournaments and in the four Grand Slams (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open). At season's end, only the top eight singles players and top four doubles teams participate in the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships.

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour awards more than US$70 million in prizemoney per season.

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