Latest Qualifiers Announced
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Svetlana Kuznetsova is the sixth singles player and Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual are the second doubles team to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2008. They join previously qualified singles players Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Dinara Safina, Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva and the team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber to book their spots in the season-ending tournament, where the world's Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams from the 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season are to compete fot the prestigious season-ending titles.
By reaching the quarterfinals last week in Moscow, Kuznetsova has accumulated enough race points to qualify. Vera Zvonareva, Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska are the players with the best chances to grab the remaining two spots in the weeks leading to the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2008.
"I feel honored to make it again to the Sony Ericsson Championships. I have worked hard to get my game back, especially in the second half of the season, so I'm looking forward to finishing the season in Doha with a good performance. I like playing outdoors so I'm quite excited about the final highlight of the year," said Kuznetsova, who will be making her fourth appearance at the event.
Kuznetsova has reached an impressive five finals this year, at Tier I events in Indian Wells and Tokyo and at Tier II stops in Sydney, Dubai and Beijing.
"It's an unbelievable feeling to qualify for my first Sony Ericsson Championships," Medina Garrigues said.
"We've had a very good year and are really looking forward to the challenge to battle for the Championships title," Ruano Pascual added.
"Svetlana, Virginia and Anabel have all had great seasons and earned places among the elite group of players competing at the Sony Ericsson Championships. Svetlana is a true fan favorite the world over and has displayed remarkable consistency over the past years," said Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Tour. "Anabel and Virginia have been the surprise team of the season in doubles. They both have an excellent doubles pedigree and have excelled this year."
The team of Medina Garrigues and Ruano Pascual has claimed titles at Hobart, Portoroz and most notably Roland Garros this year. Medina Garrigues now has 12 Tour doubles titles to her name, while Ruano Pascual has 41 in her career.
"Each year the excitement of the Tour finale surpasses that of the previous year. This year, strong doubles teams such as Medina Garrigues and Ruano Pascual and singles players such as Svetlana qualifying, ensure that the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha will continue this trend," said Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR at Sony Ericsson.
Sony Ericsson is committed to bringing entertainment, innovation and glamour to the tennis world by creating unique sporting events like the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha. This tournament will bring the excitement of the game to a new audience, with 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.
Check out the latest Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships standings by clicking here.