Ivanovic Takes No.4 Spot
Serbian fourth to qualify for prestigious crown jewel season-ending $3-million event
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA Ana Ivanovic is the fourth player to qualify for the singles event at the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place in Madrids Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo, November 6-11. By reaching the semifinals of the Fortis Championships in Luxembourg Ivanovoic has assured herself of a berth in Madrid with 2972 points on the Sony Ericsson Points Standings, behind Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
For the Serbian teenager the 2007 Sony Ericsson Championships marks first time in her career she has qualified for the prestigious year-ending event. "Im delighted. At the start of the season I made this my No.1 goal, so to achieve it is very satisfying," said Ivanovic. "As a professional tennis player, I train for the opportunity to play against the top players, and in Madrid we should have all of the worlds best players there. Its going to be a very exciting tournament and a new experience for me. I am also looking forward to spending some time in Madrid, because I love Spain."
"Ana Ivanovic has been the break-though star of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2007, winning her third and fourth singles titles at the Qatar Telecom German Open and JP Morgan Chase Open in Los Angeles as well as her captivating runs to the final of the French Open and the semifinals of Wimbledon. It is a major milestone in any young players career when they qualify for the first time as one of the sports elite for the Sony Ericsson Championships and its a reward for the impressive season she has put together to date," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
"Ana has shown herself to be very endearing and popular among the fans where ever she plays, and her inclusion in what is an already stellar field adds another dimension to our year-end finale."
"The race to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships is continuing to really heat up and its fitting to see a player like Ana Ivanovic, who has had a fantastic year winning her third and fourth singles titles, be the next player to qualify," said Dee Dutta, CVP and Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "The Sony Ericsson Championships is all about being the very best; its a week not to be missed and should be placed firmly on everyones calendar."
"Ana has been a great discovery this year," said Tournament Director and Spanish tennis legend Manolo Santana. "She has had an excellent season and has raised as a very popular player, new blood for the Tour! Fans in Madrid will enjoy watching her competing in her first Championships ever. It will be interesting to she how she deals with the pressure."
Ivanovic won her most prestigious title to date at the Qatar Telecom German Open in May defeating No.4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in a third set tiebreak and followed up by defeating No.2 Maria Sharapova to become the first Serbian ever to reach a Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros in Paris. Four weeks later she defeated two more top 10 players on the way to her first semifinal showing at Wimbledon, saving match points to defeat Nicole Vaidisova in the quarterfinals before falling to Venus Williams in the last four.
During the summer, she claimed a further title in Los Angeles saving match points this time against compatriot Jelena Jankovic in a thrilling semifinal encounter. Venus Williams halted her run in the last 16 of the US Open. During that three month stretch, she improved her singles ranking from No.16 before Berlin to No.4 following L.A. So far this year the Serb has amassed over US$1.5 million in prize money to take her career earnings in excess $2.7 million.
The Sony Ericsson Championships is the richest annual womens 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 whos who of womens 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).