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Tennis: Serena first to secure singles spot in WTA Finals Singapore

Serena Williams is the first player to qualify for this year’s WTA Finals Singapore. Photo: Paul Lakatos / WSG.

Serena Williams is the first player to qualify for this year’s WTA Finals Singapore. Photo: Paul Lakatos / WSG.

July 6, 2015: World No.1 Serena Williams has set another record by qualifying for this year’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the Women’s Tennis Association announced.

 

Williams, 33, is the first player to qualify for this year’s competition – the earliest a player has secured qualification for the WTA Finals in its current format (since 2003).

 

The American will be making her 10th appearance at the event, having won five times, including for the last three years. Williams owns an impressive 29-6 record at the WTA spectacle and has advanced to the final seven times overall.

 

“I’m really thrilled to be the first player to qualify for the WTA Finals and I can’t wait to return to Singapore to defend my title,” Williams said. “Last year was my first time visiting Singapore and I really enjoyed myself – the crowd is amazing and I’m excited to be going back.”

 

Williams has enjoyed another outstanding year on the court. As the first player since 2001 to win the first two Grand Slam tournaments of the season – the Australian Open and Roland Garros – she now owns 20 Grand Slam singles titles, second most in the Open Era behind only Steffi Graf (22).

 

These results, coupled with a record eighth title at the Miami Open, drew her level with Billie Jean King for sixth most titles in the Open Era (67).

 

Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, said: “Serena is once again inspiring our fans with another historic season and I congratulate her on becoming the first player to secure her place at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

 

“I am thrilled for our fans in Singapore that they will have an opportunity to watch one of the greatest players to ever play women’s tennis. Excitement has been building all year as players move up and down on the Road to Singapore leaderboard, and the second edition of our season finale in October promises to be very exciting.”

 

Including the Wimbledon fortnight, Williams has held the No.1 ranking for 248 weeks in total and now 124 consecutive weeks, the third longest streak in WTA history after Steffi Graf (186) and Martina Navratilova (156). She remains the oldest woman to hold the top spot since the computer rankings were introduced in November 1975.

 

This year’s WTA Finals features eight singles players competing for the Billie Jean King Trophy and eight doubles teams competing for the Martina Navratilova WTA Finals Doubles Trophy. The event will be staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 23-November 1 in partnership with World Sport Group (WSG).

 

With a record US$7 million in prize money on the line, the round-robin singles competition will be the highlight of a 10-day tennis festival that will also include the WTA Legends Classic, WTA Rising Stars Invitational and a WTA Future Stars event.

 

Road to Singapore Singles Leaderboard (June 29, 2015):

 

Rank Player
1 Serena Williams (USA)
2 Simona Halep (ROU)
3 Maria Sharapova (RUS)
4 Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
5 Lucie Safarova (CZE)
6 Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
7 Petra Kvitova (CZE)
8 Angelique Kerber (GER)
9 Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
10 Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

 

For tickets, visit: Sports Hub Tix (www.sportshub.com.sg/WTAFinals)

 

Source: WTA Finals (www.wtafinals.com); Editing by SportAsia

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