Serena Williams is heading to Doha...but first thing's first: Will she have the goods to prevail at the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS QUALIFIES FOR SONY ERICSSON CHAMPIONSHIPS – DOHA 2009
2009 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion secures spot at prestigious year-end Championships in Doha, Qatar
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Sony Ericsson WTA Tour World No.2 Serena Williams has qualified for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, set to take place for the second year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 27-November 1, 2009. Williams joins World No.1 Dinara Safina of Russia, who was the first player to qualify for the Championships two weeks ago. The world's top eight singles players and top four doubles teams from the 2009 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season will compete for the coveted Sony Ericsson Championships title and a share of the record Championships prize money of $4.45 million.
Serena Williams, the 27-year-old American, has had a stellar 2009 season, winning two Grand Slam singles titles (Australian Open and Wimbledon), and reaching the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, losing to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. A finalist at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Williams has eight wins over Top 10 opponents this season, and has held the No.1 ranking for 11 weeks during the season (week of February 2 through week of April 13). Williams leads the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour prize money leaders this year with $3,950,466. By winning the singles and doubles title at the 2009 Australian Open, Serena Williams became the first professional female athlete to eclipse the $23-million mark in any professional sports league and surpassed Lindsay Davenport ($22,144,735) as the all-time prize money leader on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. In addition to her success in singles, Serena has also won three doubles titles this year with sister Venus, including two Grand Slams (Australian Open and Wimbledon) as well as the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. As a result, Serena and Venus Williams currently rank second in the Race to Sony Ericsson Championships Doubles Standings.
"Serena has achieved great results this year, impressing everyone with her tremendous performances at the Grand Slams," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "I congratulate Serena on qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships and look forward to what promises to be one of the best Tour season finales in history."
"We congratulate Serena on qualifying for the 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha and look forward to another exciting Sony Ericsson Championships," said Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR for Sony Ericsson.
"I am really excited about qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships for the ninth time in my career," said Serena Williams. "It's never easy and it's never a guarantee, so I am thrilled to be going to Doha and competing against some of the best players in the world."
Sony Ericsson, one of the largest global mobile phone manufacturers known for style and innovation, is committed to bringing entertainment and glamour to tennis, and taking the sport to new places and new audiences. Sony Ericsson's style and technology has attracted a wider interest to women's tennis and provided unique opportunities to the stars of the Tour.
The Championships were first played in 1972 and since then the event has been held in such notable venues as Madison Square Garden, New York City; the Olympiahalle in Munich; Staples Center in Los Angeles; and the Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo in Madrid. Former singles champions include Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, Serena Williams, Justine Henin and Venus Williams. Cara Black and Liezel Huber, defending champions in doubles, currently lead in the Doubles Race to Doha with 6,750 points followed by Serena Williams and Venus William