· With 30 days to go to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals presented by SC Global, tickets for finals stages close to sell-out as player qualifications accelerate
St Petersburg, FL -- The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today Marion Bartoli is the fourth legend to enter the 2015 WTA Legends Classic, taking place 27 October through 29 October at the Singapore Sports Hub. Matches start at 6:30PM SGT each day. Bartoli makes her second appearance at the WTA Legends Classic alongside Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario plays this 8-game pro set exhibition event for the first time.
The legends exhibition forms part of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Since 2014, the WTA’s season-end women’s tennis finale and pinnacle tournament of the year has extended to a full 10-day entertainment event programme and, in partnership with event organizer, World Sports Group (WSG), transformed into the ultimate tennis extravaganza and fan festival. Together, the U23s WTA Rising Stars Invitational, the U14s and U16s WTA Future Stars Finals and the high profile special WTA Legends Classic events combine to offer fans a multi-tier programme of outstanding competition which, in addition to the WTA Finals themselves, stage a true celebration of the greatest in women’s tennis, past, present and future.
2015 WTA LEGENDS CLASSIC – QUICK HITS:
1. Between them – Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Marion Bartoli have won:
o Total 234 WTA singles titles and 253 doubles titles during their respective careers.
o 25 Grand Slam singles, adding doubles and mixed doubles, total a collective haul of 77 major titles
o A combined 3,026 singles matches across a four-decade span (1973-2013)
2. Navratilova, Austin and Sanchez-Vicario reached World No.1 in singles, with Top 10 regular Bartoli peaking at No.7
3. Navratilova and Sanchez-Vicario attained the top spot in doubles; they even won two titles together
4. All four competed in the WTA Finals during their tour days, in six different cities – Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Munich, Madrid and Istanbul
5. Navratilova was crowned WTA Finals champion a record 19 times, eight in singles and 11 in doubles; she qualified for singles a record 18 times
6. Austin won the WTA Finals in 1980 – a win that saw her rise to World No.1 and was runner-up a year earlier; Navratilova was her opponent in both finals
7. Sanchez-Vicario competed at the WTA Finals 13 times, and was runner-up to Steffi Graf in 1993. She lost to Navratilova on three occasions, including her event debut as an 18-year-old in 1989
8. Bartoli qualified for the WTA Finals twice, in 2007 and 2011; she was on course to qualify again when she won Wimbledon in 2013 but announced her retirement later that summer
9. Bartoli never faced Navratilova or Austin on court, but defeated Sanchez-Vicario in the first round at the US Open in 2002. In other head-to-heads, Navratilova went 20-13 against Austin and 12-3 against Sanchez-Vicario; Austin and Sanchez-Vicario never played
10. Navratilova, Austin and Sanchez-Vicario have all been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Over the course of her career, Bartoli reached a total of 19 WTA finals. 2013 Wimbledon champion, Bartoli has since turned her talent to design and has recently launched her own collection of fashion jewelry. As CEO and Head of Design at Marion Bartoli Design, Bartoli will provide commissioned jewelry to finalists at the WTA Finals event in 2015.
Other legendary athletes attending the WTA Finals in 2015 will be Official Ambassador, Chris Evert. Evert returns to Singapore in continued support of the WTA’s crown jewel tournament. Non-playing legend and ambassador, Li Na, will also be attending, with scheduled public appearances to meet fans and in support of the rising and future stars tennis finals. Martina Navratilova returns to Singapore as ambassador as well as playing legend; Navratilova is the namesake of the WTA Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy, unveiled in 2014.
With 30 days to go to the much-anticipated, season-end showdown pitching the best against the best, top singles players Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova have already secured their berths. They will be joined in Singapore by top 8 doubles qualifiers Hingis/Mirza, Safarova/Mattek-Sands, and recently-qualified Dellacqua/Shvedova, and Makarova/Vesnina teams. The WTA Finals offers a record $7 million in prize money in 2015 up from $6.5 million in 2014, which represents the biggest payout for a week’s tournament in women’s tennis.
The current Road to Singapore Leaderboard currently stands as follows (as of September 21, 2015):