Kuznetsova Books Madrid Berth
NEW YORK, NY, USA Svetlana Kuznetsova, one of four remaining women in contention for the 2007 US Open singles title, is the third player to qualify for the singles event at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place in Madrid's Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo, November 6-11.
By reaching the semifinals of the US Open, Kuznetsova has moved up to third on the Sony Ericsson Points Standings with 2996 points, just behind Justine Henin and Jelena Jankovic, who qualified four weeks ago.
For Kuznetsova, the current world No. 4 and projected to rise to a new career high of No. 2 on September 10, the 2007 Championships marks the third time in her career she has qualified for the prestigious year-ending event. "Qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships was one of the main goals I set myself for this season. It's an honour for every player to make it to the best eight and I'm happy I have done it again this year. Playing in Spain is always very special for me. I have a lot of friends who come and watch me and have lived there now for many years, so I consider it a second home," said the 22-year-old Russian.
"Svetlana Kuznetsova has had an impressive season, winning her ninth career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title recently at the Pilot Pen in New Haven and advancing to the semifinals here in New York. Her qualification for the Sony Ericsson Championships is testament to her tenacity and determination as a player and as a person," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "The singles field for the Championships is already looking formidable and we can all expect to see the very best of women's tennis come November."
"As well as featuring the world's very best players battling for the honour of being end of season champion, this year's Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid will be one of the most entertaining and fan-based events that women's tennis has ever experienced," said Dee Dutta, CVP and Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "The Sony Ericsson Championships is all about being the very best and promises to be even more exciting and passionate in 2007."
"We are thrilled to have Svetlana back in Madrid," said Sony Ericsson Championships Tournament Director Manolo Santana. "She is a great player and her connection with Spain is clear as she lives and practices in Barcelona at the Emilio Sanchez Vicario-Sergio Casal Academy. We look forward to watching her play here."
Kuznetsova won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open at the age of 19 in 2004. To date she has won over $7 million in career prize money and won nine Tour singles titles. She is the only woman to have beaten Justine Henin more than once while the Belgian has held the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour world No.1 singles ranking. In 2007 she has won 48 of her 61 singles matches heading into the US Open semifinals and has been a quarterfinalist or better in 12 of her 15 events thus far. Her season highlights include winning the Pilot Pen in New Haven two weeks ago and four runner-up finishes at the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Qatar; Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, CA, USA; Qatar Telecomm German Open in Berlin, Germany and Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, Italy.
The Sony Ericsson Championships is the richest annual women's sporting event in the world. The tournament is the season-ending punctuation to an 11-month global Tour which finally gathers the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams from the season to battle it out for a share of the $3-million prize purse. The event has been held in such notable venues as Madison Square Garden, New York, the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany as well as The Forum and Staples Centre in Los Angeles since its inception in 1972. Former singles champions read like a who's who of women's tennis: Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini and Serena Williams. The title holders are Justine Henin (singles) and Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur (doubles).