With Serena Williams wrapping up the Grand Slam season as champion of the US Open and only two months of regular season play anticipation for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships is beginning to mount.
This year the WTA Championships will be held from October 22nd – 27th and wrap up it’s 3rd and final year at the Sinan Erdem Dome in the fifth largest city in the world, Istanbul, Turkey.
WTA Championships Format
If you’re unfamiliar, the WTA Championships is run under a rather unique format, different from the typical regular season play where single elimination is the norm. Instead, only the top eight ranked singles players and top four ranked doubles teams qualify to compete.
Once these players are identified they’ll be split into two groups on the singles side and one group on the doubles side. In singles they’ll play a round robin, with each group of players competing against one another in three matches. The players with the best record in each group move onto the semis and the winners of the semis will progress on to the finals. In doubles they’ll play a typical single elimination format starting with the semi-finals.
Beyond the tournaments unique style, which is a clear break from the norm, it’s an extremely prestigious tournament with only the top players competing, so as usual it will be fun tournament to watch.
WTA Championships: TV Schedule, Draw and Prize Money
Approximately two weeks prior to the tournament you can check out the TV schedule for the year-end finale to make sure you catch all the action. You’ll also be able to check out the draws and schedule of play on the WTA website.
As for the WTA championships prize money they’ll be no shortage of cash helping ensure a high level of competition. This year there is a giant prize purse of $6,000,000, one of the biggest of the year. Be sure to also check out the year-end ATP World Tour Finals taking place November 4th-11th at the 02 arena in London, England.
Current Singles WTA Championships Qualifiers
Serena Williams, current world #1 with an extremely healthy points lead over the rest of the women’s field, was the first to qualify in early August. As the 2013 defending champion and coming off a win at this year’s US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY, Serena is no doubt a serious contender for this year’s crown.
Hot on the heels of Serena, Victoria Azarenka was the second women’s tennis player to qualify for the WTA championships. As the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion and currently world #2, Azarenka is excited to attend this years tournament.
After qualifying Azarenka commented, “Making the Championships is one of my goals every year and it really shows your consistency through the season. We have so much fun in Istanbul; it’s one of the best events and a beautiful facility. I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans, the excitement and energy they bring is just amazing.”
Finally, with less than a month to the tournament, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and the doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have also qualified for the tournament. Although, with Sharapova battling a shoulder injury it’s unclear whether she will be healthy for an appearance.
As of September 16, 2013 here’s the top 20 singles players currently making their bid to qualify for the WTA Championships:
|1||Serena Williams||United States||12,260|
|11||Petra Kvitova||Czech Republic||3,170|
|13||Sloane Stephens||United States||3,045|
|14||Carla Suarez Navarro||Spain||2,775|
2012 Finals: Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova
Are you getting excited for the WTA Championships? Check out the highlight reel from last years final where Serena captured her 3rd year-end title in a fantastic match against Maria Sharapova.