Sony Ericsson Race Update: October 2, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - After her trailblazing run in Asia in recent weeks, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour world No.4 Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) has been rewarded with the fourth singles berth in the $3-million Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place in Madrid, Spain, November 7-12, 2006. Her consecutive titles at the Wismilak International in Bali, Indonesia and the China Open in Beijing helped the 21-year-old qualify for the season-ending event in singles for the second time in her career.
Kuznetsova becomes the second Russian to qualify for the singles portion of the Sony Ericsson Championships; Maria Sharapova (RUS) ensured her presence in Madrid with her victory at the US Open, joining Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL) and Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) in the elite field.
With just nine events remaining in the regular Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season, there are fewer points available for players to garner as they scramble to make the Top 8 in the singles standings and Top 4 in doubles. There are several singles players currently outside the Top 8 who have a chance to grab one of the last four positions; as such, 5th-placed Kim Clijsters (BEL), 6th-placed Martina Hingis (SUI), 7th-placed Elena Dementieva (RUS) and 8th-placed Nadia Petrova (RUS) will be watching the results of Patty Schnyder (SUI), Dinara Safina (RUS), Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) and Jelena Jankovic (SCG) very closely.
There was no change in the doubles portion of the Sony Ericsson Race Top 10 this week, although the 5th-placed team, Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP) and Paola Suárez (ARG), closed the gap even further on 4th-placed Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) and Ai Sugiyama (JPN), by winning the Tier IV Hansol Korea Open in Seoul on Sunday. The Latin duo has qualified for this event every year since 2000, winning the title in 2003.
Two of the four doubles berths have already been confirmed, with Lisa Raymond (USA) and Samantha Stosur (AUS) set to do battle with Yan Zi (CHN) and Zheng Jie (CHN) for the season-ending title.
The Sony Ericsson Championships will gather the Top 8 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). The Sony Ericsson Championships will be played for the first time at Madrid Arena, November 7-12, 2006.
RACE TO THE SONY ERICSSON CHAMPIONSHIPS
As of October 2, 2006
(previous position in parentheses | ** indicates players already qualified)
1. (1) Justine Henin-Hardenne (BEL) 3473**
2. (2) Amélie Mauresmo (FRA) 2872**
3. (3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 2727**
4. (4) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 2433**
5. (5) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 1860
6. (6) Martina Hingis (SUI) 1851
7. (7) Elena Dementieva (RUS) 1753
8. (8) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 1599
9. (9) Patty Schnyder (SUI) 1441
10. (10) Dinara Safina (RUS) 1412
11. (11) Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) 1169
12. (12) Jelena Jankovic (SCG) 1114
13. (13) Anastasia Myskina (RUS) 1000
14. (14) Ana Ivanovic (SCG) 976
15. (17) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 937
(previous position in parentheses | ** indicates teams already qualified)
1. (1) Lisa Raymond / Samantha Stosur (USA/AUS) 3449**
2. (2) Yan Zi / Zheng Jie (CHN/CHN) 2947**
3. (3) Cara Black / Rennae Stubbs (ZIM/AUS) 2004
4. (4) Daniela Hantuchova / Ai Sugiyama (SVK/JPN) 1746
5. (5) Virginia Ruano Pascual / Paola Suarez (ESP/ARG) 1719
6. (6) Kveta Peschke / Francesca Schiavone (CZE/ITA) 1598
7. (9) Dinara Safina / Katarina Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) 1045
8. (7) Eleni Daniilidou / Anabel Medina Garrigues (GRE/ESP) 1011
9. (8) Meghann Shaughnessy / Anna-Lena Groenefeld (USA/GER) 975
10. (12) Li Ting / Sun Tiantian (CHN/CHN) 929