ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that World No.5 Li Na has qualified 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. Li is the fifth player to qualify for the year-end event joining Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska.
“Congratulations to Li Na on securing her qualification for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul for the third year in a row,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Her personality and exciting brand of tennis endears her to tennis fans around the world, as Li continues to inspire generations tennis players.”
“I’m so happy to have qualified again for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships as one of the Top 8 players this season. I had a great time in Istanbul last year and I’m looking forward to coming back and playing my best tennis for the fans in Turkey,” said Li Na.
Li began the season winning her seventh career title in front of her home fans at the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open. She then advanced to her third career Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, finishing runner-up in a dramatic three-set final to then-world No.1 Victoria Azarenka. Another finals appearance followed, this time on clay at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart), in addition to semifinal showings on hardcourt at the Apia International Sydney, Rogers Cup (Toronto), Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) and, for the first time, the US Open.
The 31-year-old has qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul for the third successive year. She achieved the honor of being the first Chinese player to qualify for singles in 2011, and this year will be bidding to advance past the round-robin stage of the competition for the first time.
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 (www.wtatennis.com) 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.
Follow all the latest news about the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul on www.wtachampionships.com, www.facebook.com/WTA, and www.twitter.com/WTA using #WTAChamps.
RACE TO THE TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS-ISTANBUL
(players/teams in bold already qualified – as at Monday, September 23, 2013)
Serena Williams (USA)
7390 Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 7670 Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) 6155 Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) 5971 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 5616 Li Na (CHN)
4615 Sara Errani (ITA)
Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) 4408 Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
Roberta Vinci (ITA)
Sloane Stephens (USA)