BARTOLI, STOSUR AND WICKMAYER HEAD BALI FIELD - Lisicki and Date Krumm receive wild cards
28 Oct 2009 | Road To Bali
Former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli, Australian number one Samantha Stosur and US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer top the list of entries for the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions next week. In addition, wild cards have been given to Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan.
The $600,000 event is open to the top 10 players who have claimed at least one of the 30 International Series events on the WTA Tour during 2009 and are not competing in the WTA Championships in Doha.
"Players and fans are excited about the upcoming inaugural Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in beautiful Bali," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "The event promises to be a fantastic finale for the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s International tournaments. With the field featuring some of the Tour’s leading players and next generation stars, a great week of tennis and fierce competition is guaranteed."
Marion Bartoli has enjoyed one of the most successful seasons of her career, beginning with a run to the final of the Brisbane International, followed by a win over then-world number one Jelena Jankovic that took her to the quarter-finals at the Australian Open. She then claimed the title at Monterrey in March that qualified her for Bali, and she added a further title in Stanford with victory over Venus Williams in the final.
Samantha Stosur has long been a top-ranked doubles player. But an impressive season in singles saw her defeat second-ranked Dinara Safina in Miami, before claiming victory over fourth-ranked Elena Dementieva on her way to the semi-finals of the French Open. She then earned a win over Serena Williams that took her to the semi-finals of Stanford, followed by a run to the Los Angeles final before she made a career breakthrough in Osaka where she won her first singles title.
Yanina Wickmayer recovered from a dreadful start of the season, winning just one of her first eight WTA Tour and Fed Cup matches before rebounding with a spectacular run to the title in Estoril. That set her up for a fine summer that included a place in the final of s’Hertogenbosch, but that was just a prelude to an even more successful second half of the season, as she swept all the way to the semi-finals of the US Open and then went on to win the second title of her career at Linz.
Lisicki leapt to prominence at Charleston this year where she defeated Venus Williams on the way to claiming her first career title. She went on to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, and last week the 20-year old came within one match of qualifying for Bali when she reached the final in Luxembourg.
While Lisicki is a comparative newcomer, the second wild card has gone to veteran Kimiko Date Krumm, who in winning the Korea Open in Seoul a day before her 39th birthday became the second oldest player ever to win a Tour title.
Two Spaniards are included among the other seven players to be competing. Anabel Medina Garrigues has enjoyed her most successful season, climbing into the top 20 for the first time. As well as winning the Roland Garros doubles for a second straight year, she made her mark in singles by claiming the title in Fes to qualify her for the Tournament of Champions, and she later went on to reach the final in Seoul.
Fellow Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez claimed two International Series events this year, winning Bogota in February before adding another in Bastad in July. Along with Stosur, she is one of just two players to qualify for both the doubles in Doha and a place in the Tournament of Champions in Bali.
Melinda Czink suggested she would be a Bali contender by beating Nadia Petrova and Ana Ivanovic before qualifying for the Tournament of Champions with a title in Quebec City, and Aravane Rezai preceded her run to the fourth round of Roland Garros by winning her maiden career title in Strasbourg. Magdalena Rybarikova also won the first title of her career by winning Birmingham after a promising start to the year that saw her reach the semi-finals in Hobart and Pattaya, and Shahar Peer made a late-season run to qualify, winning back-to-back titles in Guangzhou and Tashkent in September. Agnes Szavay’s place in Bali was earned with victory in Budapest after she had beaten top-10 opponents such as Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka and, most significantly, Venus Williams at Roland Garros.
"We have worked very hard to make the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions one of the best tournaments on Tour and I am sure that players and fans will enjoy an exciting week of tennis in a spectacular location that is Bali," said Tournament Director Kevin Livesey. "We look forward to welcoming the players who have shown by their results this year that they are destined to do great things in the future."
"We at Commonwealth Bank look forward to the inaugural tournament kicking off this week and are thrilled to be able to support the event and women’s tennis," said Mr. Nursing, President Director, Commonwealth Bank of Indonesia. "We look forward to seeing this incredible international group of stars come together in Bali and showcase tremendous competition for tennis fans in Asia."
Matches take place at the Bali International Convention Centre, The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua from 4th to 8th November. The tournament features a round-robin format with four groups of three players, with the winner of each group advancing to the semi-finals.