ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and the doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have all qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2013, to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul from October 22 to 27, 2013.
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.
"We are excited to add Maria, Agnieszka, Sara and Roberta to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul player field, although Maria continues to rehab from her injury," Stacey Allaster, the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, commented on the announcement on Monday. "We are less than a month away from the Championships and are eager to continue building towards what will be another sensational tournament for the fans in Istanbul and tennis fans around the world."
Sharapova's 2013 season has been highlighted by Premier-level titles at Indian Wells and Stuttgart and three more finals (Miami, Madrid and the French Open). This is the seventh time she has qualified for the WTA Championships - she is a one-time champion (2004) and two-time runner-up (2007, 2012).
The Russian's participation this year remains questionable as she recovers from a right shoulder injury.
Radwanska's year has been highlighted by a Premier-level title at Sydney and two International-level titles at Auckland and Seoul, and she has been to one more final (Stanford). This is the third time she has qualified for the WTA Championships - her best result was reaching the semifinals last year.
Errani and Vinci have qualified for the doubles event for the second straight year together - Vinci is actually here for the third time (she qualified alongside Sandrine Testud in 2001). The Italians' year has been highlighted by their third Grand Slam doubles title at the Australian Open and two more Premier-level doubles titles (Paris [Indoors] and Doha). They have reached three more finals (Sydney, Rome and the French Open). They have been No.1 in doubles separately or together since last October.
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.