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The Evolution Of Bali

Formerly a Tier III event, the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions will debut next month.

Published October 14, 2009 12:00

The Evolution Of Bali
Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova

The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia, has come a long way since it debuted as a $170,000, Tier III event on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2001. Then known as the Wismilak International, its first champion was native Indonesian Angelique Widjaja.

The prize money was raised to $225,000 the next year and remained that way through last year. Svetlana Kuznetsova won the 2002 event, followed by Elena Dementieva, Kuznetsova again, Lindsay Davenport, Kuznetsova for a record third time, Davenport again in 2007 - when it was renamed the Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic - and Patty Schnyder in 2008.

At the conclusion of last year's event, the Tour announced that in 2009 the tournament would become the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions to further the Tour's Roadmap reforms, which are intended to create a more fan-friendly and healthier calendar structure. The new event will serve as the championships for this season's schedule of International tournaments, concluding a season-long race.

The 10 highest-ranked players who have captured at least one International tournament during the year and who are not participating in singles at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 will qualify for Bali, along with two wildcards. The three International events left before Bali are Linz and Osaka - both of which are this week - and Luxembourg - which is next week. So far, only Yanina Wickmayer and Anabel Medina Garrigues have qualified.

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. 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.

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