Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha

The 2009 WTA Tour Finals are the season ending tournament, the official name is, the Sony Ericsson Championships and it is being held in Doha, Qatar for the 2nd straight year. This event is a Tour Championship category event which means, it is the pinnacle of the tennis calendar, as the year end World No.1 ranking can and will be determined at this tournament.

The event is structured so only the best players in the world of women’s tennis can qualify for the 8 spots in the draw. This creates a race to make the end of year finals. Each year is termed a tennis season. The player who finishes with the World No.1 ranking after the final match at the Sony Ericsson Championships is played, is declared the champion for that season.

Who do you think will be the 2009 WTA Tour Champion?

4,550,000 US dollars is up for grabs with the winner of the women’s singles event pocketing 1,550,000 US dollars if she remains undefeated. The runner-up takes home 780,000 US dollars. The event is held from Tuesday October 27 through to the final on Sunday November 1. The WTA Tour rankings as at October 26 will be used for seeding the players.

Last year Venus Williams (pictured above), won the WTA Tour year-end Championship Final by defeating Vera Zvonareva in the final 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 6-2. Both players were undefeated and had won 4 matches in a row going in to the final. The 2008 WTA Tour Champion was Jelena Jankovic which meansthe Serbian finished the year ranked as the World No.1.

The event begins in a round robin format with 2 groups of 4 players, a white group and a maroon group. The colour for the groups are chosen according to the colours of the Qatari National flag. This tournament will also be held in Doha at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in 2010 before it heads to Istanbul in Turkey for the following 3 years 2011 to 2013.

In the first 4 days of this 6 day tournament each of the 8 women will play against all 3 members of her group. Throughout the round robin matches the world’s best women try to achieve a place in the semi-finals by finishing in the top 2 spots in their own group. On Day 5 the semi-finals are held where the players who finish at No.1 in their group play the player who finishes No.2 in the other group.

The Top 8 players in the world for 2009 are:

  1. Dinara Safina who qualified as the No.1 player by winning the most ranking points on the WTA Tour in 2009 with 7,731.
  2. Serena Williams qualified 2nd with 7,576 WTA points.
  3. Svetlana Kuznetsova qualified 3rd with 5,772 points.
  4. Caroline Wozniacki qualified 4th with 5,475.
  5. Elena Dementieva qualified 5th with 5,415.
  6. Victoria Azarenka qualified 6th with 4,451.
  7. Venus Williams qualified 7th with 4,397.
  8. Jelena Jankovic sealed the last spot days ago and by only 5 points by winning 3,555 points.

Vera Zvonareva who won through to last years singles final in this event ended 2009 in 9th place with 3,550 and Agnieszka Radwanska was 10th with3,340. Zvonareva and Radwanska are on standby as alternates should any player pull out with an injury, even if they do not play they will earn 50,000 US dollars each!

Stay tuned for more coverage of Doha as we update you with round robin results, who qualifies for the semi-finals and the women’s singles final, plus who claims the mantle of 2009 WTA Tour Champion.

For further details about this event on this tennis website click this link -> WTA Tour Champion 2009: Oct 27-Nov 1.

© 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: CB Photography

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