Six players wrestling for last three singles spots in the final week
for prestigious season-ending event at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – World No. 8 Elena Dementieva has qualified for the Bank of America WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche, the WTA Tour announced today, setting the stage for a furious chase during this final week for the remaining spots in the coveted field.
Dementieva, 21, is currently seventh in the Porsche Race to the Championships standings with 2,324 points. One of the rising stars on the WTA Tour, Dementieva of Russia has flourished this season, winning three tournaments (Amelia Island, Bali and Shanghai) and reaching four other semifinals (Paris Indoors, Toronto, New Haven and Moscow).
Dementieva joins World No. 1 Kim Clijsters, World No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne, Jennifer Capriati and Amelie Mauresmo in the eight-player round robin singles field at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. World No. 3 Serena Williams and World No. 4 Lindsay Davenport both qualified for the WTA Tour Championships, but have withdrawn because of injuries.
There are six players – Anastasia Myskina (2,244 points), Venus Williams (2,211 points), Ai Sugiyama (2,124 points), Chanda Rubin (2,116 points), Nadia Petrova (1,862 points) and Vera Zvonareva (1,831 points) – waging a fierce battle for the remaining three singles spots. All of those players except Venus Williams are entered in this week’s Advanta Championships in Philadelphia, which is the final chance to clinch a place in the WTA Tour Championships. Only 413 points separate the six players.
Depending on bonus points, Myskina will likely qualify if she avoids an early-round upset. Sugiyama and Rubin could earn spots if they at least reach the quarterfinals. Petrova or Zvonareva have only a mathematical chance to earn a ticket to Los Angeles.
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 22 consecutive years from 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, November 3 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