Yanina, Anabel Off To Bali
Published October 12, 2009 12:00
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Yanina Wickmayer and Anabel Medina Garrigues are the first two players to qualify for the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, a season-ending Championships for the Tour's top International tournament winners. Set to make its debut in Bali, Indonesia from November 4 to 8, the event will feature top Tour players and next generation champions competing in an innovative 12-woman round robin singles format (four groups of three players), and offer both $600,000 in prize money and an opportunity to earn a $1 million bonus.
Wickmayer has had a breakthrough season on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, highlighted by winning her first Tour title at the Estoril Open (her International title) and by far her best Grand Slam performance to date, reaching the semifinals of the US Open. She reached a career-high of No.22 on the September 14 rankings; currently No.24, she is the second youngest player inside the Top 30 (after Caroline Wozniacki).
"I'm thrilled about having an opportunity to go to Bali for the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions," Wickmayer said. "I've had a really good year, winning my first Tour tournament and having a dream run at the US Open. Going to Bali is a perfect ending to my season."
Medina Garrigues has had one of the best seasons of her 13-year career, including winning her ninth Tour title at Fès (her International title). She reached a career-high of No.16 after winning the Moroccan tournament. The Spaniard also won her second Grand Slam title, defending her doubles title at Roland Garros with Virginia Ruano Pascual.
"I'm really excited about qualifying for the tournament in Bali because I had a very good season and I am glad that all the hard work is paying off," Medina Garrigues said.
"The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions promises to be a fantastic year-end finale for the winners of the Tour's International events," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the Tour. "Bali is a fantastic location and is a favorite of the players and the fans. I congratulate Yanina and Anabel on being the first players to qualify for the event and wish them luck in what will be a terrific finale to their 2009 season."
"We are very excited to welcome players to beautiful Bali for the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, which promises to be a great event for numerous established stars of the Tour, as well as the next generation of players," said Kevin Livesey, Tournament Director, Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions. "We would like to congratulate Yanina and Anabel on qualifying for the Championships and look forward to them challenging the rest of this season's International events winners for the coveted title."
"We at Commonwealth Bank are very happy to support women's tennis as the main sponsor of this tournament," said Mr. Nursing, President Director, Commonwealth Bank of Indonesia. "This year, as the tournament gained its stature and has become a major Championships, we have also upgraded our commitment to support it. We hope that the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions will serve as the inspiration to young people in Indonesia and Asia to pick up a racquet and get involved in the sport of tennis."
The 10 highest-ranked players who have won at least one International tournament during the year and who are not participating in singles at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 will qualify for the event, along with two wildcards. A player who wins three International tournaments and the season-ending Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions will take home the additional $1 million bonus on top of her prize money.
The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions will represent the championships for the International tournaments, bringing a season-long link and race tying together the International events. All players who qualify by ranking will be required to play the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions. Players who have qualified for the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships singles event will not be eligible to play in Bali.
This year, 24 different players have captured an International singles title. There are three remaining International events left on the 2009 calendar - Generali Ladies Linz, HP Open and BGL Luxembourg Open... the competition field is wide open.