August 30, 2015

Sharapova, Radwanska and Errani/Vinci qualify for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships

teb_bnp_paribas_wta_champs_istanbul

ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska and the top doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have qualified for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013. Despite qualifying, Sharapova’s participation in Istanbul remains questionable due to her continuing recovery from injury.

 

The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s best women tennis players as the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. Istanbul is set to host the elite season-ending competition for a triumphant third and final year.

 

“We are excited to add Maria, Agnieszka, Sara and Roberta to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul player field, although Maria continues to rehab from her injury,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “We are less than a month away from the Championships and are eager to continue building towards what will be another sensational tournament for the fans in Istanbul and tennis fans around the world.”

 

Maria Sharapova

 

Sharapova captured titles at the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart) in 2013 and has now won at least one title annually for the last 11 years.  Only three players – Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf – have enjoyed longer streaks. The Russian was also a finalist at the Sony Open Tennis (Miami), Mutua Madrid Open and Roland Garros, falling on each occasion to Serena Williams. Despite left hip and right shoulder injuries curtailing her fall hard court season, Sharapova is the third player to secure her Istanbul singles qualification.

 

The 26-year-old has qualified for the year-end finale for the seventh time in her career. She won the event on her debut in 2004, defeating Serena Williams in the championship match, and is a two-time finalist, in 2007 and most recently 2012. Only once has she failed to reach at least the semifinal stage, withdrawing from round-robin play in 2011 with an ankle injury.

 

Agnieszka Radwanska

 

Radwanska opened the 2013 season with back-to-back titles at ASB Classic (Auckland) and Apia International Sydney, in addition to winning last week’s KDB Korea Open (Seoul), taking her career tally to 13. The 24-year-old finished runner-up at Bank of the West Classic (Stanford), and was a four-time semifinalist at Wimbledon, Qatar Total Open (Doha), Sony Open Tennis (Miami) and Rogers Cup (Toronto). After the US Open she surpassed $13million in career prize money and is now one of the Top 20 earners in WTA history.

 

The Pole has qualified for the WTA Championships for the third successive year, as well as competing as an alternate in 2008 and 2009. Her best result came last year, reaching the semifinals, before falling to eventual champion Serena Williams. Radwanska’s third round-robin match in 2013 against Sara Errani was the longest recorded best-of-three-set match in Championships history at three hours, 29 minutes. The previous record was set during the 2007 final, when Justine Henin defeated Maria Sharapova in three hours, 24 minutes.

 

Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci

 

Last year Errani and Vinci earned the distinction of becoming the first all-Italian team to compete at the prestigious year-end event and went on to finish the season as WTA Doubles Team of the Year. Vinci is returning to the Championships for the third time in her career: her appearances now span a 12-year period, having made her debut in 2001 partnering Sandrine Testud. Errani, who played in both the singles and doubles events in 2012, has qualified in doubles for the second straight year and remains on track to secure a singles berth as well.

 

The Italians began the season in strong form, triumphing at the Australian Open to win their third Grand Slam crown, followed by titles at Open GDF Suez (Paris Indoors) and Qatar Total Open (Doha). They also made finals appearances at Roland Garros, Apia International Sydney, and Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome). Underscoring their success, the pair has held the World No.1 Doubles ranking either individually or collectively since October last year. First teaming up on a regular basis in 2010, Errani and Vinci have collected a total of 16 doubles titles as a team. They have also compiled an undefeated record to date in Fed Cup doubles competition for Italy, and are due to face Russia in November’s final.

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Serena Williams First to Qualify for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul

Day 3 Serena Williams press conference

(August 5, 2013) ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that singles World No.1 Serena Williams is the first player to qualify for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013.

 

The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s best women tennis players as the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. Istanbul is set to host the elite season-ending competition for a triumphant third and final year.

 

“I congratulate Serena on becoming the first player to secure her place at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Serena is having yet another extraordinary season on tour, and continues to be one of the sport’s greatest champions. She has earned the opportunity to defend her title and be part of our very special season finale in Istanbul.”

 

Turkish Tennis Federation president Osman Tural said: “Excitement is building for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul with the confirmation that World No.1 Serena Williams will be back to defend the title she won following an unforgettable performance in 2012. I believe the final year of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul will be remembered as one of the most successful organizations in the history of the event. For the last two years the eyes of the world have turned to Istanbul for this significant tournament, which plays a vital role in supporting the Olympic bid of Istanbul for the 2020 Olympic Games. We invite all tennis fans to experience this wonderful event from 22-27 October and see the best players in the world in action.”

 

“I’m very excited to have qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships and have the opportunity to return to Istanbul in October to defend my title,” said Williams. “The support we received from the fans at last year’s Championships was overwhelming and it’s going to be a very special feeling returning to Turkey and playing in that incredible atmosphere once again.”

 

Williams returns to Istanbul to defend the title she won last year in front of a vocal, sell-out crowd. The 31-year-old has now qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for the 10th time in her career, and is a three-time champion at the event (2001, 2009, 2012), in addition to reaching finals in 2002 and 2004.

 

The American has amassed an impressive 51-3 record so far this season, including a career-best 34-match win streak while collecting a tour-leading seven titles along the way: Brisbane International, Sony Open Tennis (her sixth title at Miami), Family Circle Cup (Charleston), Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Roland Garros (her 16th Grand Slam singles crown), and Collector Swedish Open (Bastad).

 

With 53 titles, Williams currently is tied for ninth with Monica Seles on the all-time list for most titles won. In February this year, she returned to the World No.1 ranking, becoming the oldest player to hold the top spot, which she has now done so for 148 non-consecutive weeks across the course of her career. During Wimbledon she achieved her 600th win at all levels, a feat that has been accomplished by just 14 other players in WTA history.

 

Following two successful, record-breaking editions, Istanbul hosts the Championships for the third and final year in 2013. In 2012, the event attracted more than 73,000 fans during six days of competition, the highest attendance at the year-end event since 2000. Championships broadcast coverage reached 167 countries, and the overall hours produced increased 25 percent, including live matches, match replays, and highlights. Nearly 42 million fans followed the on-court and behind-the-scenes action via WTA social media and digital platforms, leading to a record-setting week for the official WTA website (www.wtatennis.com) with approximately 4.8 million page impressions and nearly 500,000 unique visitors.

 

Tickets to the 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul are now available for purchase through Biletix, either online at www.biletix.com or at Biletix ticket counters in Turkey, with a special 15 percent discount on offer for fans purchasing tickets using TEB credit cards.

 

Follow all the latest news about the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul on www.wtachampionships.com, www.facebook.com/WTA, and www.twitter.com/WTA using #WTAChamps.

 

RACE TO THE TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS-ISTANBUL

(players/teams in bold already qualified)

SINGLES

DOUBLES

PLAYER POINTS   TEAM POINTS
Serena Williams (USA) 7520   Errani / Vinci (ITA/ITA) 6780
Maria Sharapova (RUS) 5890   Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) 5660
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 5370   Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) 4681
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 4277   Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 3935
Sara Errani (ITA) 3781   Barty/Dellacqua (AUS/AUS) 3215
Li Na (CHN) 3300   Groenefeld/Peschke(GER/CZE) 3130
Marion Bartoli (FRA) 3048  
Petra Kvitova (CZE) 2671      
Sabine Lisicki (GER) 2471      
Roberta Vinci (ITA) 2460      
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