Now that the WTA Championships in Istanbul have come to a close, let's shift our attention to the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions which is about to start on November 3 in Bali. The Tour actually announced the draw of the really-season-ending tournament on the day the much more important season-ending tournament commenced (how awkward is that?), but I decided to postpone the Bali talk until Istanbul finishes.
You know that in order to qualify for the event in exotic Bali you have to win an International-level WTA tournament in the ongoing season and not qualify for the WTA Championships in Istanbul which features the best eight singles players of the year. To make things even more complicated, Marion Bartoli did not qualify for Istanbul and was therefore eligible to play Bali, but as the first alternate in Istanbul she did eventually play the event because of Maria Sharapova's withdrawal. Nevertheless, Bartoli is still qualified to play Bali. Pretty messed up. But hey, let's see who's in.
Direct qualifiers (in brackets are the titles they won in 2011):
Marion Bartoli (Osaka)
Sabine Lisicki (Birmingham, Dallas)
Roberta Vinci (Barcelona, 's-Hertogenbosch, Budapest)
Daniela Hantuchova (Pattaya City)
Anabel Medina Garrigues (Estoril and Palermo)
Nadia Petrova (College Park)
Ivanovic and Peng have not won titles this year. Ivanovic is defending champion in Bali, while Peng is the only player in the Top 20 who has not won a WTA title in her career.
Players have gathered in Bali and photographer Robertus Pudyanto caught some beach tennis action of Shuai and Hantuchova.
The Bali tournament in this format was first organized in 2009. This year it will take place from November 3 to November 6. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)