Bali, Here We Come!
Published October 28, 2009 10:29
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The field has been set for the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, a season-ending event for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's top International tournament winners. Marion Bartoli, Samantha Stosur, Yanina Wickmayer, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Shahar Peer, Melinda Czink, Agnes Szavay, Aravane Rezai and Magdalena Rybarikova have qualified, while Kimiko Date Krumm and Sabine Lisicki have accepted invitations as tournament wildcards to round out the playing field at the inaugural event. Additionally, Vera Dushevina will travel to Bali as an alternate.
Making its debut in Bali, Indonesia from November 4-8, 2009, the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions features established and next generation stars competing in an innovative 12-woman round robin singles format (four groups of three players), and offers $600,000 in prize money. The top 10 highest-ranked players who have won an International tournament during the 2009 season on the Tour and who are not competing at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 (which features the top eight singles players in the world) qualify for the event. The Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions represents the championships for the International tournaments, bringing a season-long link and race tying together the International events.
"Players and fans are excited about the upcoming inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in beautiful Bali," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "The event promises to be a fantastic finale for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's International tournaments. With the field featuring some of the Tour's leading players and next generation stars, a great week of tennis and fierce competition is guaranteed."
"We have worked very hard to make the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions one of the best tournaments on Tour and I am sure that players and fans will enjoy an exciting week of tennis in a spectacular location that is Bali," said Tournament Director Kevin Livesey. "We look forward to welcoming the players who have shown by their results this year that they are destined to do great things in the future."
"We at Commonwealth Bank look forward to the inaugural tournament kicking off this week and are thrilled to be able to support the event and women's tennis," said Mr. Nursing, President Director, Commonwealth Bank of Indonesia. "We look forward to seeing this incredible international group of stars come together in Bali and showcase tremendous competition for tennis fans in Asia."
Marion Bartoli (#12)
Completing her fourth straight season as a member of the world's Top 20, France's Bartoli won her fourth and fifth Tour singles titles in 2009 - at the inaugural Monterrey Open (Monterrey) and at the Bank of the West Classic (Stanford), where she defeated World No.3 Venus Williams in the final. Bartoli also reached the final at the Brisbane International (losing to Azarenka). Her best Grand Slam performance came at the Australian Open, where she advanced to the last eight, and achieved her second win over a reigning World No.1, when she defeated Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round.
Samantha Stosur (#13)
2009 has been a career year for the Australian who won her maiden Tour singles title at the HP Open (Osaka) and broke into the Top 15, reaching a career-high ranking of No.13. Stosur also advanced to the final in Los Angeles (falling to Flavia Pennetta) and her first Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros (losing to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova). Additionally, Stosur had a strong year in doubles with partner Rennae Stubbs, reaching finals at Wimbledon, the Rogers Cup and the AEGON International (Eastbourne), earning the pair a spot at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 as one of the four best doubles teams in the world.
Yanina Wickmayer (#19)
A rising star from Belgium, Wickmayer has had a breakthrough season on Tour, highlighted by winning her first two Tour titles - Estoril Open (Estoril) and Generali Ladies Linz (Linz) - both International events on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar. She also reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open (losing to Caroline Wozniacki), the Belgian's best effort at a Grand Slam to date. As a result, Wickmayer made her Top 20 debut the week of October 19, 2009 and is currently ranked No.19 (week of October 26, 2009), the second youngest player ranked in the Top 20 (after Wozniacki). She was also a
finalist in both singles and doubles (with Michaella Krajicek) at the Ordina Open ('s-Hertogenbosch).
Anabel Medina Garrigues (#26)
For the sixth successive year, Medina Garrigues captured a Tour title, winning the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem (Fes) this season. Following the win in Fes, the 27-year-old Spaniard reached a career-best ranking of No.16 and is set for her third Top 30 finish in the last four years. Additionally, Medina Garrigues was a finalist at the Hansol Korea Open (Seoul), and matched her best Grand Slam performance by reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. She also won her second career Grand Slam doubles title (and 13th Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles title overall), successfully defending her Roland Garros trophy with partner Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (#31)
Since turning professional in 1996, Spain's Martinez Sanchez is having the most successful season of her career, winning two International events this season - the Copa Sony Ericsson Colsanitas (Bogota) and the Collector Swedish Open Women (Bastad). In 2009 she enjoyed three wins against Top 10 ranked opponents, defeating then No.10 Nadia Petrova (Rome), in addition to two victories over Caroline Wozniacki (ranked No.9 at Bastad and No.5 at Beijing), and reached a career-high singles ranking of No.33 on October 12, 2009. Together with countrywoman Nuria Llagostera Vives, Martinez Sanchez won six doubles titles in 2009, more than any other team on Tour, and the pair will be competing at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009.
Shahar Peer (#32)
In September, Peer won back-to-back International events - the China GDD Guangzhou International Women's Open (Guangzhou) and the Tashkent Open (Tashkent) - her fourth and fifth Tour singles titles. As her first three career titles came in 2006, the win in Guangzhou broke a three year title drought. Peer was also a two-time semifinalist this year - at Pattaya City and Estoril. Representing Israel in Fed Cup in an away tie against the Ukraine, Peer won both her singles matches against Alona Bondarenko and Kateryna Bondarenko, each in three sets, although Israel lost the tie 3-2. Peer also teamed with Gisela Dulko to reach the doubles final at the BNP Paribas Open in March.
Melinda Czink (#39)
Hungary's Czink won the first Tour singles title of her career at the Bell Challenge (Quebec City) in September, dropping only one set all week. As the result, she made her Top 40 ranking debut, rising from No.52 to No.37, having started the year ranked outside the Top 100. She also reached the last four at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, but was forced to retire against eventual champion Medina Garrigues, and was a four-time quarterfinalist this season. Czink achieved her career-first Top 10 win this season, defeating world No.10 Nadia Petrova at the Family Circle Cup (Charleston).
Agnes Szavay (#42)
Szavay produced her best results of 2009 on clay and collected her third career title at the GDF Suez Grand Prix (Budapest) in her native Hungary in July, becoming the first Hungarian to win the title. The 20-year-old had a lean start to the year, competing in four events without a win, but turned things around after she decided to play qualifying at Acapulco. She won two qualifying matches, then as a lucky loser advanced to the quarterfinals. After that, Szavay went on to reach the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open and the round of 16 at Roland Garros. She scored three wins against Top 10 players this year - Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic - bringing her career total to seven.
Aravane Rezai (#44)
Twenty-two-year-old Rezai broke through for her first Tour singles title at the Internationaux de Strasbourg (Strasbourg) in May, and carried her strong form into the following week at Roland Garros, advancing to the fourth round and equaling her best result at a Grand Slam. She also reached the semifinals at the opening event of the 2009 season at the ASB Classic (Auckland). The French player achieved her career-best win at the Rogers Cup (Toronto) in August when she eclipsed the world No.1 Dinara Safina in three sets. During the 2009 season, Rezai's singles ranking rose to a career-high world No.36.
Magdalena Rybarikova (#46)
Slovakian Rybarikova collected her first career Tour title in 2009, winning on grass at the AEGON Classic (Birmingham), and reached two semifinals earlier in the season - at the Moorilla Hobart International (Hobart) and the PTT Pattaya Open (Pattaya City). Additionally, she was a quarterfinalist at the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies (Bad Gastein) and the Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick (New Haven), and equaled her career-best Grand Slam showing at the US Open by reaching the third round. She broke into the Top 40 for the first time during the week of June 22, 2009. Prior to 2009, she reached the quarterfinals of a tournament only once, at the 2008 Tashkent Open (Tashkent). Rybarikova also recorded six wins over Top 20 ranked players this season.
Sabine Lisicki (#25)
Germany's Lisicki had a breakthrough season winning her maiden Tour title at the Family Circle Cup (Charleston), defeating three Top 10 players en route to the trophy (Venus Williams, Marion Bartoli and Caroline Wozniacki). After Charleston, Lisicki's ranking surged from No.63 to No.43, then a career high. In addition, Lisicki enjoyed two wins during Germany's triumph over China in Fed Cup and had her best performance at a Grand Slam by reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova and Caroline Wozniacki but falling to top seed Dinara Safina. Lisicki made her career Top 30 debut on July 6, 2009 and currently has a career-high ranking of world No.25.
Kimiko Date Krumm (#100)
Since turning pro in 1989, Date Krumm won eight Tour singles titles and one doubles title. After playing in her second Olympics, Date Krumm announced her retirement on September 24, 1996 yet came back to the Tour nearly 12 years later, announcing an unexpected comeback in April 2008. After the return, Date Krumm has won several ITF titles prior to capturing a trophy at the 2009 Hansol Korea Open (Seoul), thus becoming the second-oldest player in the Open era, after Billie Jean King, to win a singles title on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions 2009 Participants:
RANK (as of 10/26/09) / PLAYER / INTERNATIONAL TITLE/S WON
No.12 Marion Bartoli (Monterrey)
No.13 Samantha Stosur (Osaka)
No.19 Yanina Wickmayer (Estoril, Linz)
No.27 Anabel Medina Garrigues (Fes)
No.31 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (Bogota, Bastad)
No.32 Shahar Peer (Guangzhou, Tashkent)
No.39 Melinda Czink (Quebec City)
No.42 Agnes Szavay (Budapest)
No.44 Aravane Rezai (Strasbourg)
No.46 Magdalena Rybarikova (Birmingham)
No.25 Sabine Lisicki
No.100 Kimiko Date Krumm