ST PETERSBURG, Florida, July 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The Women's Tennis Association announced today that current singles World No.1 Serena Williams has qualified for this year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. A five-time WTA Finals singles winner, Williams will be making her 10th appearance at the WTA Finals as the defending champion and winner of the last three editions of the event.
The 33-year-old American owns an impressive 29-6 record at the WTA's season finale, and has advanced to the finals seven times overall. She 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).
"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," said Serena. "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."
"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," said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. "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 our season finale in October promises to be very exciting."
Williams owns 20 Grand Slam singles titles, second behind only Steffi Graf (22). 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).
Staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 23-November 1 in partnership with World Sport Group (WSG), the 2015 WTA Finals features the Top 8 singles players competing for the prestigious Billy Jean King Trophy, while the Top 8 doubles teams will compete for the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy. With a record $7 million in prize money, 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 Star Invitational and a WTA Future Stars event.
Wednesday, July 15, will mark the start of the 100 day countdown until the WTA Finals.
Current Road to Singapore Singles Leaderboard (as of Monday, June 29):
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)
The leaderboard is updated each Monday and can be found at http://www.wtafinals.com.
SOURCE WTA Tennis