Just Two Singles Spots Remain Open
Russian stars are fifth and sixth to book spots at crown-jewel season-ending, $3-million event
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA Nadia Petrova and Elena Dementieva have joined Justine Henin-Hardenne, Amelie Mauresmo, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova in qualifying for the singles event at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place at Madrid Arena in the Spanish capital, November 7-12.
Both players clinched their spots in Madrid when Patty Schnyder was defeated in the first round of the Zurich Open this week. With just two more weeks of tournaments following this week before the Sony Ericsson Championships, only two spots remain up for grabs in the singles draw of the season-ending crown jewel event. Currently (not including points from this week in Zurich), Kim Clijsters sits in the seventh spot with 1860 points, followed by Martina Hingis with 1851 points and Patty Schynder with 1615 points.
Nadia Petrova, recent Porsche Grand Prix champion and winner of the Qatar Total Open, Bausch and Lomb Championships, Family Circle Cup and Qatar Telecom German Open this year, is currently in 5th place on the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships with 2029 points. She has season record of 44:16. During the course of her six year professional career, Petrova has claimed 6 singles titles and 12 doubles titles, attained a career high Sony Ericsson WTA Tour World ranking of No. 3 and won over $4.8 million in prize money on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
She is joined by Elena Dementieva, winner of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles, and who is currently 6th on the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships with 1943 points. She has a season record of 47-17. Since turning professional in 1998, Dementieva has won six singles and 6 doubles titles, attained a career high Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ranking of 4 and won over $7.4 million in prize money. Elena has qualified for every Sony Ericsson Championships since 2000, the only active player to do so.
"I am really happy to have made it to the Sony Ericsson Championships," said Petrova. "This is a great reward for all the hard work I have done to get back from injury, and will be a fantastic end to my season. To be one of the eight best players in the world is amazing and I look forward to taking them all on in Madrid in November."
"I'm extremely proud of the fact that this is the seventh straight year I have qualified for this prestigious event, said Elena Dementieva. It means a lot to every player to make it to the end of season as one of the best eight players and I can't wait to get to Madrid."
"Nadia started the 2006 season in tremendous form and to see her back to her best following her injury problems is fantastic for fans of women's tennis. Her qualification for the Sony Ericsson Championships is a credit to her great on-court performances and her tenacity," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "Elena's qualification is another great story and further confirmation of her status as one of the world's best players. Elena is one of the most popular players on Tour with as much talent as anyone in the game today."
"As well as featuring the world's best players, this year's Sony Ericsson Championships will be one of the most fan friendly, entertaining and ground breaking season-ending events that women's tennis has ever witnessed," said Dee Dutta, CVP and Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "Sony Ericsson is a proud sponsor of what is sure to be a Championships not to be missed."
"It is wonderful news that Nadia Petrova and Elena Dementieva have qualified for Madrid," said Spanish tennis legend and Sony Ericsson Championships tournament director Manolo Santana. "Nadia is back to her best form as shown in winning the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart and reaching the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last week, and Elena continues to demonstrate the kind of form that will ensure she starts next month's tournament as one of the favourites to win."
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 Amelie Mauresmo (singles) and Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur (doubles).