ZÜRICH, Switzerland – Serena Williams is the fifth player to qualify for the singles event at the upcoming year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place in Madrid's Recinto Ferial Casa De Campo, November 6-11. By reaching the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Williams assured herself of a berth in Madrid with 2766 points on the Sony Ericsson Points Standings, behind Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic. For the 26-year old American, this marks the seventh time in her illustrious career she has qualified for the prestigious year-ending event.
"I'm delighted and surprised to have made it to the Sony Ericsson Championships," Williams said. "When I started the year, I honestly never thought I would be in the position I am in now with a Grand Slam title under my belt and getting closer to playing some great tennis. I thought I missed my chance by not playing this summer but I have been really excited to be playing in Europe the last few weeks and I made it sooner than I thought. I am dying to visit Madrid, a city I have never been to before, and making the Sony Ericsson Championships is a double bonus for me. It's going to be great!"
"Serena Williams made an incredible return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2007, captivating the tennis world again with her title runs at the Australian Open and Sony Ericsson Open in Miami; I don’t think anyone would have forecast the kind of comeback she has put together, rising from No.140 last summer to qualifying as one of the elite eight singles players at our season-ending event," said Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Tour. "Serena is a true icon, someone who transcends our sport in many ways, and having her join the names already assembled brings more entertainment to the Sony Ericsson Championships."
"With the best of the best coming together to battle it out for the Sony Ericsson Championships title, it is no surprise that we see Serena Williams as the next player to qualify,"
said Dee Dutta, Global CVP and Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson. "This has been a great year for Serena, most recently reaching the final of the Kremlin Cup.
The Sony Ericsson Championships is all about being the very best; it's a week not to be missed and should be placed on everyone’s calendar."
"Having Serena is a dream come true. She is one of the best players ever and having her here in Madrid presents a great opportunity for fans to watch her,"
said Tournament Director and Spanish tennis legend Manolo Santana. "I am delighted to have her with us. Her comeback has been impressive and I am sure she will be fighting for the title."
Williams won her 28th career singles title at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, saving two match points to defeat world No.1 Justine Henin in the final, 06 75 63. It followed her stunning January triumph at the Australian Open, where she beat then-incoming world No.1 Maria Sharapova in the final, 61 62. That win garnered Williams her eighth Grand Slam singles title, coming two years after not having played a singles final of any kind and at No.81, she became the lowest ranked player to win a Grand Slam title since 1978. This season she has also been a quarterfinalist at the French and US Opens in addition to Wimbledon, falling to Henin each time. In 2007, the American is second on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season earnings list with US$2.1 million in prize money, to take her career earnings in excess of $18 million, 6th all-time.
The Sony Ericsson Championships is the richest annual women's sporting event in the world. The tournament is the year-ending punctuation to an 11-month global Tour which finally gathers the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams from the season to battle it out for a share of the $3-million prize purse. Since its inception in 1972, the event has been held in such notable venues as Madison Square Garden, New York City, the Olympiahalle in Munich and The Forum and Staples Centre in Los Angeles. Former singles champions include Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini and Serena Williams. The reigning champions are Henin (singles) and Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur (doubles).
Simply Stunning, Simply Serena
57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1
Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus)