September 13, 2004
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Mauresmo New No.1, Qualifies for LA
ST PETERSBURG, FL - Playing solid tennis all season, Amélie Mauresmo has become the No.1-ranked player in the world and qualified for the season-ending WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for the third consecutive year, the Tour announced. Lindsay Davenport, the current leader in the Porsche Race to the Championships standings, has also qualified for the eight-player field.
Mauresmo is the 14th woman and the first French player – male or female – to ascend to the top of the world rankings. Mauresmo moved up one spot, replacing Justine Henin-Hardenne, who had held the No.1 ranking for nearly a year before losing in the fourth round of the US Open last week.
In this week’s rankings, Anastasia Myskina is No.2 followed by Lindsay Davenport and Henin-Hardenne. US Open finalist Elena Dementieva moves up to a career-high of No.5 and US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova climbed to a career-high of No.6. Kim Clijsters is No.7 followed by Jennifer Capriati, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, who moved back into the Top 10.
Based on their US Open results, Mauresmo and Davenport were the first to qualify for the Tour Championships. Mauresmo, 25, sits in second in the Porsche Race to the Championships standings (3,386 points) and is second on the Tour in victories with a 50-9 record and three Tier I titles (Berlin, Rome and Montreal). She has been particularly solid during the summer hard court season, going 14-3 and winning a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Athens. This year will mark her fourth appearance in the Championships.
Davenport, who leads the current Porsche Race to the Championships standings (3,967 points), is having one of the best seasons ever in her long, distinguished career.
The 28-year-old California pro leads the Tour with a 55-7 record and six titles (Tokyo, Amelia Island, Stanford, Carson, San Diego, and Cincinnati). She cemented her spot in the Championships with her red hot summer, which included four straight titles and 22-match win streak that ended in the US Open semifinals.
With roughly two months to go, the race for the remaining six spots is one of the closest in recent years. The next nine players in the standings are separated by less than 1,000 points, including positions 3 through 6, which are separated by less than 300 points. The final spots might not be decided until the final week before the Championships, which takes place Nov. 10-15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
The top eight singles players and the top four doubles teams in the final Porsche Race to the Championships standings qualify for the prestigious Championships. The Championships singles winner will earn $1 million in prize money and a Porsche to donate to their favorite charity.
The WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche is the largest and most lucrative women-only sporting event in the world and dates back to 1972. The top eight singles players and top four doubles teams in the Porsche Race to the Championships standings on Monday, November 8, will qualify for the season-ending tournament held for the third consecutive year at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The singles winner receives a record-tying $1 million, equaling the largest winner’s check in women’s sports.
Former champions include all-time greats Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Tracy Austin, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams. Kim Clijsters stands as the two-time defending champion. The Porsche Race to the Championships standings are updated weekly and posted on the WTA Tour’s Web site, www.wtatour.com
General tournament and ticket information is available on the WTA Tour Championships Web site at www.wtachamps.com
or at 1-866-WTA-CHAMP (1-866-982-2426).