Road To Bali: New Faces, Places in January
Published January 30, 2009 12:00
The Road to Bali, launched at the start of the 2009 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season as a season-long race to the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions this November, brought out some new faces and underwent a few changes in January.
The first three tournaments in the Road to Bali took place in the first two weeks of the new season, with Elena Dementieva, Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova all capturing titles. For Dementieva it wasn't much of a breakthrough, as her triumph in Auckland was her 12th Tour singles title, and she followed it up a week later with her 13th at the Premier tournament in Sydney. But for both Azarenka and Kvitova it was a total breakthrough, as both of them captured the first Tour singles titles of their careers - Azarenka in Brisbane and Kvitova in Hobart.
Kvitova's title run was perhaps the most unlikely yet this year. While Azarenka was the No.2 seed in Brisbane and did not drop a single set en route to the title, Kvitova was unseeded in Hobart, and seemingly down and out in her quarterfinal match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, coming back from 61 52 down to win.
A few slight changes were also made to the Tour calendar, all of which affected the Road to Bali. Warsaw was promoted to Premier level, which meant it is not in play in the International-level Road to Bali; but its July 20-26 slot was filled by Bad Gastein, and a brand new event in Marbella was added the week of April 6-12. So, with one removed and two added, the Road to Bali is now 30 events.
About the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions
The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions is set to debut at the Bali International Convention Centre (adjoining the Westin Resort) from November 4-8 in 2009. Featuring top Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players and next generation champions competing in an innovative, 12-woman round robin singles format (four groups of three players), it will offer both $600,000 in prize money and an opportunity to earn a $1-million bonus.