Desert Island Tennis
DOHA, Qatar - To mark the start of the prestigious Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Sony Ericsson staged a unique tennis game in a place that has never been played in before - a desert island. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Doha skyline, Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva rallied on a replica tennis court, specially built for the occasion, on Palm Island in the middle of Doha Bay in the Arabian Gulf.
After the game, 2008 Roland Garros Champion Ana Ivanovic said: "It was such a fun way to start the Sony Ericsson Championships; it was amazing and so unusual to be playing tennis on a deserted island with no one there but Elena, myself and the ballboys. I'm really looking forward to the tournament here in Doha and a great finish to the 2008 season."
"This was a fantastic way to celebrate the beginning of the Sony Ericsson Championships. All the players have played brilliantly during the season and have earned a deserved shot at this prestigious title," said Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR. "We are committed to innovating and introducing unique activities in women's tennis to continue to attract new fans and broaden the appeal of the sport on a global basis. It has been a great year for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and I hope through events like this we can attract more fans to the Tour and the exciting prospect of the 2009 season."
The stunt involved a replica tennis court being constructed on Palm Island, similar to the court in the Khalifa Stadium where the Sony Ericsson Championships are being held.
The Sony Ericsson Championships will run from November 4th to November 9th and the line up for the tournament has been finalised: Jelena Jankovic (SRB), Dinara Safina (RUS), Serena Williams (USA), Elena Dementieva (RUS), Ana Ivanovic (SRB), Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), Venus Williams (USA) and Vera Zvonereva (RUS) will all compete for the singles crown.
Doubles players Cara Black (ZIM) / Liezel Huber (USA); Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP); Kveta Peschke (CZE) / Rennae Stubbs (AUS); and Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) / Ai Sugiyama (JPN) will compete for the doubles title. The Sony Ericsson Championships will be held in Doha, Qatar for the next three years, after being held in Madrid for the past two years, with Justine Henin having won the title in 2007.