The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that singles World No.1 Serena Williams is the first player to qualify for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013.
The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s best women tennis players as the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. Istanbul is set to host the elite season-ending competition for a triumphant third and final year.
“I congratulate Serena on becoming the first player to secure her place at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Serena is having yet another extraordinary season on tour, and continues to be one of the sport’s greatest champions. She has earned the opportunity to defend her title and be part of our very special season finale in Istanbul.”
Turkish Tennis Federation president Osman Tural said: “Excitement is building for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul with the confirmation that World No.1 Serena Williams will be back to defend the title she won following an unforgettable performance in 2012. I believe the final year of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul will be remembered as one of the most successful organizations in the history of the event. For the last two years the eyes of the world have turned to Istanbul for this significant tournament, which plays a vital role in supporting the Olympic bid of Istanbul for the 2020 Olympic Games. We invite all tennis fans to experience this wonderful event from 22-27 October and see the best players in the world in action.”
“I’m very excited to have qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships and have the opportunity to return to Istanbul in October to defend my title,” said Williams. “The support we received from the fans at last year’s Championships was overwhelming and it’s going to be a very special feeling returning to Turkey and playing in that incredible atmosphere once again.”
Williams returns to Istanbul to defend the title she won last year in front of a vocal, sell-out crowd. The 31-year-old has now qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for the 10th time in her career, and is a three-time champion at the event (2001, 2009, 2012), in addition to reaching finals in 2002 and 2004.
The American has amassed an impressive 51-3 record so far this season, including a career-best 34-match win streak while collecting a tour-leading seven titles along the way: Brisbane International, Sony Open Tennis (her sixth title at Miami), Family Circle Cup (Charleston), Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Roland Garros (her 16th Grand Slam singles crown), and Collector Swedish Open (Bastad).
With 53 titles, Williams currently is tied for ninth with Monica Seles on the all-time list for most titles won. In February this year, she returned to the World No.1 ranking, becoming the oldest player to hold the top spot, which she has now done so for 148 non-consecutive weeks across the course of her career. During Wimbledon she achieved her 600th win at all levels, a feat that has been accomplished by just 14 other players in WTA history.
Following two successful, record-breaking editions, Istanbul hosts the Championships for the third and final year in 2013. In 2012, the event attracted more than 73,000 fans during six days of competition, the highest attendance at the year-end event since 2000. Championships broadcast coverage reached 167 countries, and the overall hours produced increased 25 percent, including live matches, match replays, and highlights. Nearly 42 million fans followed the on-court and behind-the-scenes action via WTA social media and digital platforms, leading to a record-setting week for the official WTA website with approximately 4.8 million page impressions and nearly 500,000 unique visitors.
Tickets to the 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul are now available for purchase through Biletix, either online at www.biletix.com or at Biletix ticket counters in Turkey, with a special 15 percent discount on offer for fans purchasing tickets using TEB credit cards.
RACE TO THE TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS-ISTANBUL
(players/teams in bold already qualified)
|Serena Williams (USA)||7520||Errani / Vinci (ITA/ITA)||6780|
|Maria Sharapova (RUS)||5890||Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO)||5660|
|Victoria Azarenka (BLR)||5370||Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS)||4681|
|Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)||4277||Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN)||3935|
|Sara Errani (ITA)||3781||Barty/Dellacqua (AUS/AUS)||3215|
|Li Na (CHN)||3300||Groenefeld/Peschke(GER/CZE)||3130|
|Marion Bartoli (FRA)||3048|
|Petra Kvitova (CZE)||2671||