Justine Henin and Jelena Jankovic are the first women to qualify for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid, November 6-11. The Belgian and the Serb are currently in first and second place respectively in the Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships with 3245 and 2990 points each.
Henin, who took the title in Madrid last year, currently leads the WTA Tour, winning five titles so far this season (Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Qatar Total Open in Doha, Qatar; J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland; Roland Garros in Paris, France; International Women's Open in Eastbourne, Great Britain), while world number three Jankovic has claimed four titles to date in 2007 (ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand; Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, USA; Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, Italy; and DFS Classic in Birmingham, Great Britain).
“I am proud of the fact that for the second year in a row, I am the first to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships as one of the elite eight singles players and can't wait to go back there and be a part of that special atmosphere," said world number one Henin.
Jankovic, the first woman representing Serbia to qualify for the event, feels like she’s dreaming: "At the beginning of last year I was going through a really tough time and was considering quitting the sport, going back to university, and 15 months later it has all turned around. It's incredible. I'm delighted to be part of such an elite event, where only the best players play, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world."
“Both Justine and Jelena have millions of fans who will be tuning in to see how they perform in November against the other best players in the world. This year's Sony Ericsson Championships promises to be one of the best ever," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
The Sony Ericsson Championships will gather the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams from the regular 2007 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season as they battle it out for the season-ending titles and a share of the $3-million prize purse. As mentioned, Henin is the defending champion in singles, while Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur are the reigning doubles champions. (source: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour)