BALI PLAYER FIELD CONFIRMED
25 Oct 2011 | English, Road To Bali
The eight players who will contest the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions, the annual season-ending championships for the WTA’s International tournaments, have been confirmed.
Marion Bartoli, Sabine Lisicki, Roberta Vinci, Daniela Hantuchova, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Nadia Petrova are the six highest-ranked International Series tournament winners (excluding players qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships), thereby qualifying for the 2011 Tournament of Champions. Defending champion Ana Ivanovic and Peng Shuai have been awarded wildcards, rounding out the Bali field.
All will gather at the Bali Convention Centre, Westin Resort, Nusa Dua for the end of season climax that offers total prize money of $600,000. Matches take place 3rd to 6th November.
“I would like to congratulate all these players on their success in 2011 and I know they are excited to end their year at the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “The six qualified players have won a total of 11 WTA singles titles between them this year, and with the addition of defending champion Ana Ivanovic and Peng Shuai as wildcards, I’m sure the fans will be in for a week of exciting competition.”
"We are delighted to have such a strong player field in what will be the final year of operating the Tournament of Champions in Bali. We look forward to welcoming them and I know that everyone in Bali is looking forward to an exciting event," said Kevin Livesey, tournament director of the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions.
Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions 2011 Participants:
Marion Bartoli, France, No.9
Marion Bartoli advanced to five finals during the 2011 season, winning the AEGON International (Eastbourne) and HP Japan’s Women Open (Osaka), and finishing runner-up at the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), Internationaux de Strasbourg and Bank of the West Classic (Stanford). She also reached her second Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros, and a WTA-leading 14 quarterfinals (from 27 events). Bartoli’s impressive results have seen her equal her career-best ranking of No.9, which she first achieved in 2007. The 27-year-old returns to Bali for the second time, having finished runner-up to Aravane Rezai at the inaugural Tournament of Champions in 2009.
Sabine Lisicki, Germany, No.18
Germany’s Sabine Lisicki has made a stunning comeback from injury this year, improving her ranking from a low of No.218 in March, to a career-best of No.17 in September. She won both her second and third WTA singles titles at the AEGON Classic (Birmingham), and Texas Tennis Open (Dallas), where conceding only 13 games, the fewest by a title winner since 2005. The 22-year-old also reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon, the first time a German woman had reached a Grand Slam semifinal since Steffi Graf there in 1999. She scored four Top 10 wins during the year, including victories over Li Na and Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon. This will be her second appearance at the Tournament of Champions, having contested the inaugural event in 2009.
Roberta Vinci, Italy, No.22
At the age of 28, Italian Roberta Vinci has enjoyed her most successful year to date. Having won three singles titles over the course of 11 years, she doubled her career total with three more this season: Barcelona Ladies Open, UNICEF Open (‘s-Hertogenbosch) and POLI-FARBE Budapest Grand Prix. In addition to these titles, she achieved the best win of her career at the Rogers Cup (Toronto), defeating World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki en route to the quarterfinals. As a result, she made her Top 20 debut in the summer, peaking at No.18, on September 12. She is one of three players making their debut at the Tournament of Champions.
Daniela Hantuchova, Slovak Republic, No.23
Returning to the Tournament of Champions for the second time, Daniela Hantuchova won her fourth career singles title, and first in more than three years, at the PTT Pattaya Open to stake her claim for a place in the field. She finished runner-up on grass at the AEGON Classic (Birmingham), and reached the semifinals at the Internationaux de Strasbourg and AEGON International (Eastbourne). She achieved her first win over a reigning World No.1, when she defeated Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros. The 28-year-old is a former finalist at Bali, having reached that stage in 2007 when it was a regular WTA event.
Anabel Medina Garrigues, Spain, No.28
Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues won her 10th and 11th career singles titles during the 2011 season - at the Estoril Open and XXIV SNAI Open – Internazionali Femminili di Tennis di Palermo – and surpassed Venus Williams to hold the record for most clay court titles by an active player (10). Her title at Palermo was her fifth at the event, and she became only the fourth active player to win the same tournament five times (also Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters). She also reached three semifinals and won two doubles titles. The 29-year-old played the Tournament of Champions in 2009, and is back for the second time.
Nadia Petrova, Russia, No.31
The second Tournament of Champions debutant is Nadia Petrova. The Russian won her first WTA singles title in almost three years at the Citi Open (Washington DC), defeating top seed Shahar Peer in the final. She went on to reach two quarterfinals this year, and the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and Wimbledon. In doubles, she reached the finals at the Qatar Ladies Open (Doha) and Sony Ericsson Open (Miami) with Liezel Huber. The 29-year-old has been ranked as high as World No.3 and has a total of 10 WTA singles titles to her name.
Ana Ivanovic, Serbia, No.26
One of two wildcard entries into Bali, 23-year-old Ana Ivanovic returns as the defending champion, having defeated Alisa Kleybanova to win the title in 2010. Her best results this year are two semifinal appearances, at the AEGON Classic (Birmingham) and Mercury Insurance Open (Carlsbad), where she was edged out in three sets in both matches. The Serb also advanced to the quarterfinals at two Premier Mandatory events - the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and China Open – and scored two Top 10 wins during the year.
Peng Shuai, China, No.16
Receiving the second wildcard into the Tournament of Champions is China’s Peng Shuai, who will make her debut at the event. One of the WTA’s most consistent performers during 2011, she reached the quarterfinals or better at 10 events, improving her ranking from No.72 to a high of No.14 in August. She advanced to her first WTA Premier final at the Brussels Open (lost Wozniacki), securing her third Top 5 win en route. She also reached the last four at ASB Classic (Auckland), Moorilla Hobart International, Family Circle Cup (Charleston) and AEGON Classic (Birmingham). The 25-year-old reached her first Grand Slam round of 16 at the Australian Open, and equaled that result at Wimbledon and the US Open.