Raymond/Stosur First Doubles Qualifiers
World's top-ranked doubles duo first team to qualify for Tour's crown-jewel season ending $3 million event
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida Lisa Raymond (USA) and Samantha Stosur (AUS) are the first team to qualify for the doubles event at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place at Madrid Arena in the Spanish capital, November 7-12.
The duo, 2006 Roland Garros champions and winners of five other doubles titles this year, are currently in first place on the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships with 3448 points. Since teaming up during the summer of 2005, Raymond and Stosur have won two Grand Slam titles and are the reigning Sony Ericsson Championships doubles winners. This year, they have a 46-10 match record and both are currently joint ranked No. 1 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Doubles Rankings. Additionally Raymond and Stosur were runners-up at the Australian Open to the Chinese pairing of Zheng Jie and Yan Zi despite holding three match points in the second set, as well as recent semi-finalists at the US Open. With the Roland Garros doubles victory, Raymond became only the 13th player in the history of women's professional tennis to hold a career doubles Grand Slam.
"It feels great to qualify again for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, and to be the first team to do that this year is even more of an honour," said Raymond. "We are really motivated to defend our title in Madrid this year."
"Lisa and Sam have had another remarkable season, and continue to establish themselves as one of the great doubles pairs over the past years," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "So many of our fans love to watch doubles, and having one of the best doubles teams in the world join what is already an outstanding singles line up promises to showcase the very best of women's tennis at the Sony Ericsson Championships."
"The 2006 Sony Ericsson Championships promises to be an exceptional week of world class tennis. As well as featuring the world's best singles players, this year's Championships will feature the very best doubles teams battling it out to be crowned end of season champions," said Dee Dutta, CVP and Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "The Sony Ericsson Championships will bring together the best of the best and with a whole raft of fan friendly innovations and events it is set to be a truly memorable week in Madrid."
The Sony Ericsson Championships will gather the Top Eight singles players and Top 4 doubles teams from the regular 2006 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season as they battle it out for the season-ending titles and a share of the $3-million prize purse. The defending champions are Mauresmo (singles) and Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur (doubles).
Roland Garros champions Raymond and Stosur currently lead the Doubles Race with 3448 points, with Australian Open and Wimbledon champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie not far behind at 2946.