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Lady
Oct 17th, 2003, 10:31 AM
http://www.wtatour.com/index.cfm?section=main&cont_id=209762

Capriati, Navratilova Qualify for WTA Tour Champs presented by Porsche
October 16, 2003


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Navratilova clinches doubles spot; fierce battle for remaining four singles spots for prestigious season-ending event at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Three-time Grand Slam champion Jennifer Capriati and tennis legend Martina Navratilova have qualified for the season-ending Bank of America WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche, 5-10 November, the WTA Tour announced on Thursday.

Capriati joins world No.1 Kim Clijsters, world No.2 Justine Henin-Hardenne and world No.3 Serena Williams as singles qualifiers for the coveted event at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. World No.4 Lindsay Davenport has also qualified but is not expected to play after undergoing season-ending foot surgery Wednesday.

Capriati, who is currently fourth in the Porsche Race to the Championships standings with 2,471 points, clinched a spot in the eight-player singles field because of her outstanding results so far this season. She has been solid virtually all season, reaching at least the quarterfinals in 11 of her 17 tournaments in 2003. Also, her three-set US Open semifinal duel against Henin-Hardenne last month is being considered as one of the greatest matches of all-time.

Navratilova and partner Svetlana Kuznetsova earned a spot in the four-team doubles field, along with Virginia Ruano Pascual / Paola Suarez and Clijsters / Ai Sugiyama. Ruano Pascual / Suarez lead the current Porsche Race to the Championships doubles standings with 3,851 points, followed by Clijsters / Sugiyama with 3,581 points and Navratilova / Kuznetsova with 2,695 points.

With three weeks remaining in the Porsche Race to the Championships, there is a tight battle for the final four singles spots. There are at least nine players – Amelie Mauresmo, Elena Dementieva, Venus Williams, Anastasia Myskina, Chanda Rubin, Ai Sugiyama, Vera Zvonareva, Nadia Petrova and Paola Suarez – within reach of those four spots.

In the doubles Race, Davenport / Lisa Raymond (2,329 points) are currently fourth in the standings, but Davenport’s withdrawal means Cara Black and Elena Likhovtsova, who are currently fifth with 1,962 points, will have to fend off all challengers for the final spot in the field.

This year's WTA Tour Championships features a new format that involves eight players competing in a round-robin singles format that pays the winner a record-tying $1 million, equaling the largest winner's check in women’s sports.

The Bank of America WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche is the largest and most lucrative women-only sporting event in the world and dates back to 1972. It was held in New York's Madison Square Garden for 22 consecutive years (1979-2000) before moving to Munich in 2001, then to STAPLES Center, Los Angeles in 2002. The top eight singles players and top four doubles teams in the Porsche Race to the Championships standings on Monday, 3 November will qualify for the season-ending tournament.

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. The Porsche Race to the Championships standings are updated weekly and posted on the WTA Tour's website, www.wtatour.com

General tournament and ticket information is available on the Bank of America WTA Tour Championships web site at www.wtachamps.com or at 1-866-WTA-CHAMP (1-866-982-2426).