Azarenka Second To Qualify For Istanbul
Published August 24, 2013 12:03
The Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams will compete in Istanbul for a record-setting $6 million prize money purse and the most prestigious title on the WTA calendar after the Grand Slams.
"I'm super excited to have qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships," Azarenka said. "Making the Championships is one of my goals every year and it really shows your consistency through the season. We have so much fun in Istanbul; it's one of the best events and a beautiful facility. I'm looking forward to seeing all the fans, the excitement and energy they bring is just amazing."
"Congratulations to Victoria on a great season thus far," WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster said. "Successfully defending a Grand Slam title is an incredible achievement, and her thrilling title runs, most recently at the Western & Southern Open, have showcased her fighting spirit and determination to win. It will be terrific to have her back at this year's TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships."
Azarenka has had another blockbuster year already, repeating as the Australian Open champion and collecting titles at Doha and Cincinnati as well, bringing her career haul to 17 WTA titles. She is also 36-4 so far this year. Having begun the year at No.1, she is now still No.2 in the world despite struggles with ankle and knee injuries this year - a testament to her unrelenting determination on the court.
This is Azarenka's fifth time qualifying for the season finale - she was stopped in the round robin stage in her first two tries in 2009 and 2010 but has excelled at the event the last two years, reaching the final in 2011 (falling to Petra Kvitova) and then the semifinals in 2012 (falling to Maria Sharapova).
Following two successful, record-breaking editions, Istanbul hosts the WTA Championships for the third and final year in 2013. In 2012, the tournament attracted more than 73,000 fans during six days of competition, the highest attendance at the year-end event since 2000. Broadcast coverage reached 167 countries, and the overall hours produced increased 25 percent, including live matches, match replays and highlights. Nearly 42 million fans followed the on-court and behind-the-scenes action via WTA social media and digital platforms, and it was a record-setting week for the official WTA website that week, with approximately 4.8 million page impressions and nearly 500,000 unique visitors.