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Sofia's Elite Eight: Breaking It Down

What are the two round robin groups? What are the head-to-heads? That and more right here.

Published October 29, 2012 12:00

Sofia's Elite Eight: Breaking It Down
Hsieh, Pironkova, Vinci, Petrova, Kirilenko, Hantuchova, Wozniacki, Zheng

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Istanbul had its elite eight, now Sofia has an elite eight too - and what a group it is, led by former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and a slew of former Top 10 and Top 20 stars hoping to wrap up their seasons on a high.

The Qatar Airways Tournament Of Champions Sofia is the finale for the WTA's International Series, with the six highest-ranked players who have won an International title this year - and two wildcards - in the eight-woman field.

Bulgaria's own Tsvetana Pironkova is one wildcard, and talked about playing a WTA event in her home country for the first time. "It's funny, I feel like I'm a host here, and whenever there's a problem somewhere I just want to help and keep everyone happy! But it's great, I have many people coming to watch me this week, like tomorrow I have 30 or 40 friends coming. I'm very excited!"

And on her round robin group? "I think I'm happy with the draw - it's not very easy here no matter which group you're in, because the players here are the best of the best," she said. "I'm just going to try and stay calm and keep my energy, practice a little bit and get ready to play my first match tomorrow."

The tournament format will see the round robin groups play out over the first four days from Tuesday to Friday, with the semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday. Here's a breakdown of the two four-woman round robin groups:

Group Serdika

(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #11)
~ International titles this year (1): Seoul
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 7-2
- 0-1 vs Vinci
- 2-0 vs Hsieh
- 5-1 vs Hantuchova

(4) Roberta Vinci (ITA #16)
~ International titles this year (1): Dallas
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 4-2
- 1-0 vs Wozniacki
- 1-0 vs Hsieh
- 2-2 vs Hantuchova

(5) Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE #27)
~ International titles this year (2): Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 0-4
- 0-2 vs Wozniacki
- 0-1 vs Vinci
- 0-1 vs Hantuchova

(7) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK #32)
~ International titles this year (1): Pattaya City
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 4-7
- 1-5 vs Wozniacki
- 2-2 vs Vinci
- 1-0 vs Hsieh

Group Sredets

(2) Nadia Petrova (RUS #13)
~ International titles this year (1): 's-Hertogenbosch
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 12-6
- 4-4 vs Kirilenko
- 8-1 vs Zheng
- 0-1 vs Pironkova

(3/WC) Maria Kirilenko (RUS #15)
~ International titles this year (0 - wildcard)
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 7-9
- 4-4 vs Petrova
- 3-5 vs Zheng
- 0-0 vs Pironkova

(6) Zheng Jie (CHN #29)
~ International titles this year (1): Auckland
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 8-11
- 1-8 vs Petrova
- 5-3 vs Kirilenko
- 2-0 vs Pironkova

(8/WC) Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL #44)
~ International titles this year (0 - wildcard)
~ Head-To-Head against rest of group combined: 1-2
- 1-0 vs Petrova
- 0-0 vs Kirilenko
- 0-2 vs Zheng

The Tournament Of Champions debuted in 2009 in Bali, before moving to Sofia's Armeets Arena for the 2012 to 2014 editions. Tennis is increasingly popular in Sofia, which is Bulgaria's capital and largest city. It is home to many of the country's major universities, cultural institutions and businesses.

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