2008 No.1s Honored in Doha
DOHA, Qatar - Trophies were awarded this week by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour to both the year-end singles and doubles No.1s at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2008. Jelena Jankovic was presented with a trophy for the singles race while Black and Huber received the honor for doubles.
Following her first win at the Championships, Jelena Jankovic was presented Wednesday with a trophy commemorating her as the year-end singles No.1. The ceremony, presided over by Tour CEO Larry Scott, was attended by Mr. Abdulrahman Saad Al-Shathri, President of the Qatar Tennis Federation and followed by a press conference discussing her remarkable year on the Tour.
In an intense and competitive race that has seen five different world No.1s throughout the year, the 23-year-old Jankovic has proven herself worthy, solidifying the prestigious title before the season-ending Championships. Her No.1 ranking came on the heels of 12 straight match wins and taking three straight titles, at Beijing, Stuttgart and Moscow, which followed her first title win at Rome earlier this year.
"For me, being on the No.1 position is really a dream come true, and it is something that I always wanted," said Jankovic. "Now achieving that and finishing the year as the No.1 player in the world is really an amazing feeling."
"Every time I go on the court I feel like I'm the No.1 player in the world, and I go with that confidence," she added. "I just believe in my game and in myself. I just keep going, and I would like to keep winning as long as it is possible. As many matches as possible, and finish the year in a good way, in the best possible way, hopefully."
Jankovic has been a consistent figure in the Top 10 since February 2007. She unseated fellow Serbian Ana Ivonovic on August 11th, and remained at the top of the leaderboard for one week. She then reclaimed the title on October 6th; her strong lead on her rivals at this point firmly cemented her as the 2008 year-end No.1.
"In this day and age, and given the caliber of the tournaments Jelena's been playing - Beijing, Moscow, Stuttgart - to win those three tournaments playing against the very best in the world was quite an amazing accomplishment, and made it clear to everyone that she'd been the best player this year," said Scott, before presenting her with the Waterford crystal trophy.
Other players to hold the No.1 spot in 2008 were Ana Ivanovic (12 weeks); Maria Sharapova (three weeks); Serena Williams (four weeks), and Justine Henin (20 weeks), whose retirement on May 14th left the race to No.1 wide open.
On Thursday at the Championships, Cara Black and Liezel Huber were presented with an award to commemorate finishing as world No.1 doubles players for the 2008 season. The champions were presented with their trophy at the doubles draw. It has been a remarkable year for Black and Huber, who won the 2008 US Open, their fourth Grand Slam title together, and continued to dominate the doubles circuit, winning nine titles and hanging onto the No.1 ranking all season long. Black and Huber are the second doubles team to end a season as the joint No.1 players, and are the fourth doubles team to jointly hold the No.1 doubles ranking since 1984.