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Dulko & Pennetta To Defend Year-End Title

Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta have become the third doubles team to qualify for Istanbul.

Published October 11, 2011 12:00

Dulko & Pennetta To Defend Year-End Title
Gisela Dulko, Flavia Pennetta

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta are the third doubles team to secure their place at the prestigious year-end TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be hosted at the state of the art Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey from October 25 to 30, 2011. Dulko & Pennetta join the teams of Kveta Peschke & Katarina Srebotnik and Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond in the field. The teams of Victoria Azarenka & Maria Kirilenko and Vania King & Yaroslava Shvedova are competing for the final doubles spot.

The WTA's year-end finale will feature the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams competing for the coveted title and a share of $5 million in prize money. The WTA and Turkish Tennis Federation's goal is to deliver the best finale in history to fans of women's tennis in Turkey and all over the world.

"It is terrific that last year's doubles champions will be back to defend their title in Istanbul," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the WTA. "Gisela and Flavia broke through to win their first Grand Slam doubles title at the Australian Open, held the No.1 doubles ranking between them for eight months, and have hit great form recently to reach consecutive finals at Premier events in Asia."

"Prior to the trip to Asia, we didn't think we would have a chance to make it to the Championships, but since then we've played very well and reached two finals," Dulko said. "We are so happy to get back to the Championships together and hope to play well. We usually do well when the pressure is high, so it will be a great opportunity to play in a new city and new venue."

King & Shvedova could clinch the fourth spot by winning the title over in Osaka, Japan this week, pushing Azarenka & Kirilenko out of contention for Istanbul.

Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Vera Zvonareva and Samantha Stosur are already in the singles field.

Agnieszka Radwanska and Marion Bartoli are contesting the eighth and final singles spot in the finale, but it is an uphill battle for Bartoli - she needs to win titles at both Osaka and Moscow these next two weeks, and she also needs Radwanska to fall before the quarterfinals of Moscow next week. Whichever of the two doesn't make the cut will join Andrea Petkovic as the two alternates.

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