Chan, Chuang Join Doubles Field
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA Chan Yung-Jan and Chuang Chia-Jung have become the second doubles team to qualify for this November's Sony Ericsson Championships, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced on Monday, October 22. The season-ending event is set to take place in Madrid's Recinto Ferial Casa De Campo, November 6-11, 2007.
Chan and Chuang are the first ever players from Chinese Taipei to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships in singles or doubles. Both players are currently at their career-high doubles rankings, with Chuang at No.7 and Chan at No.8.
"We are very proud to have qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships and it's an even more special achievement being the first team from our country to do so," Chan said. "We've had a really great year, getting to the finals in Australia and New York, and to be one of the four best teams in Madrid is a dream come true really. I am really looking forward to playing there and to doing our best."
Chan and Chuang are the second team to qualify for this year's Championships, following Cara Black and Liezel Huber, who qualified on August 15. They have won three Tour doubles titles this year, including the Sony Ericsson International in Bangalore, India, the DFS Classic in Birmingham, England, and the Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. The tandem also holds runner-up trophies this year at the Australian Open, where they lost to Black and Huber, and the US Open, where they lost to Nathalie Dechy and Dinara Safina.
Doubles standouts Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur are presently in second place with 3,628 points, while Chan and Chuang hold the third spot with 3,146 points. However, Raymond and Stosur are unable to compete in this year's Championships due to a viral illness from which Stosur is recuperating.
"I am very disappointed that I haven't been able to play most of the last half of this season, especially the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid," Stosur said. "I hope to make a full recovery in about six weeks. I can't wait to start training again and get back out on the court for the Australian summer."
"This is an incredible accomplishment for Chan Yung-Jan and Chuang Chia-Jung," said Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Tour. "Having the first team from Chinese Taipei to qualify truly depicts the global range of women's tennis. Our fans across the world enjoy the excitement of doubles and having them join Cara Black and Liezel Huber will showcase the best in professional women's doubles."
"With less than three weeks to go until the Sony Ericsson Championships, the race to qualify is continuing to heat up, and it's great to see Chan and Chuang become the second team to qualify after such a successful year," said Dee Dutta, CVP and Global Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "The Championships is all about being the very best; it's a week not to be missed and should be placed firmly on everyones calendar."
The Sony Ericsson Championships is the richest annual women's sporting event in the world. The tournament is the year-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. Since its inception in 1972, the event has been held in such notable venues as Madison Square Garden, New York City, the Olympiahalle in Munich and The Forum and Staples Centre in Los Angeles. Former singles champions include Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini and Serena Williams. The reigning champions are Henin (singles) and Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur (doubles).