Olympic Champ Heads to Doha
ST.PETERSBURG, FL, USA Russian Elena Dementieva has joined Jelena Jankovic, Serena Williams, Dinara Safina and Ana Ivanovic in qualifying for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, where the world's top eight singles players and top four doubles teams from the 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season are to compete for the Championships title at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from November 4-9, 2008.
Dementieva, a semifinalist at the 2008 US Open and the new Olympic gold medalist in singles, is currently ranked No.5 in the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships with 2,855 points. With five players having secured their ticket to Doha, only three more spots remain up for grabs in the singles draw of the prestigious year-end event. Currently Maria Sharapova sits in sixth spot with 2,515 points, followed by Venus Williams with 2,106 points and Svetlana Kuznetsova with 2,022 points.
"One of my goals has always been to get as close as possible to the top and to make it to the Sony Ericsson Championships," said Dementieva. "Making it to Doha just shows me that I've been doing a few things right this season, so I am just very happy about my qualification. I have played very well all year and I will certainly try my best to finish the season on a high note."
Dementieva has posted strong results throughout the season, reaching the semifinal or better at nine of her 14 events, including winning the title at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships at Dubai and bringing home the Gold medal from the Beijing Olympics singles event. She finished runner-up at both the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin and at the Istanbul Cup in Istanbul, and was a semifinalist at the Open Gaz de France in Paris, the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, the Ordina Open at s-Hertogenbosch, the Championships at Wimbledon and most recently at the US Open. Dementieva will be making her eighth appearance at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships.
"Elena has had a fantastic 2008 campaign, and she has certainly earned her place at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "Elena has had an amazingly consistent presence at the year-end finale, which is a testament to the strength of her game and her amazing competitiveness."
"Elena's game has gone from strength to strength this year and she is sure to be a strong contender in the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha," said Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR at Sony Ericsson. "The calibre of talent like Elena's throughout the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour this year has been phenomenal and has placed women's tennis firmly on the map."
In the Doubles Race to Doha it was Cara Black and Liezel Huber, the 2008 US Open Doubles Champions, to first qualify for the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships. US Open semifinalists and Roland Garros champions Anabel Medina Garrigues are currently ranked in second place with 2,733 points; the current third and fourth-placed teams are the Ukrainian sisters and Australian Open Champions, Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko with 2,346 points and Chuang Chia-Jung and Chan Yung-Jan of Chinese Taipei with 2,196 points only 33 points ahead of the Czech-Australian team of Kveta Peschke and Rennae Stubbs with 2,163 points.
Sony Ericsson is committed to bringing entertainment, innovation and glamour to tennis by creating unique sporting events such as the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha. This tournament will bring the excitement of the game to a new audience, with the city of Doha set to benefit from the biggest tennis event ever to be held in the region. Sony Ericsson strives to energize the fan experience at the Championships, by bringing them closer to tennis through the integration of innovation and technology, to deliver the best possible sports experience.
The Championships were first played in 1972 and since then the event has been held in such notable venues as Madison Square Garden, New York City, the Olympiahalle in Munich, Staples Center in Los Angeles, and the Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo in Madrid. Former singles champions include Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, Serena Williams and Justine Henin.