Draw for tennis Tournament of Champions in Sofia finalised
Bulgarian capital Sofia plays host to some of the biggest names in women’s tennis this week, as the WTA Tournament of Champions plays out on the court of the Arena Armeec Sofia.
The end-of-year tournament, not to be confused with the Grand Slam-equivalent WTA Tour Championships (won on October 28 by Serena Williams), will feature eight players in a round-robin format, with the top two advancing to the semi-finals on November 3. The final is on November 4.
To qualify, players had to win at least one WTA Tour event this year, but fall short of qualification for the WTA Tour Championships. Two of the participants were granted wild cards even though they have not won any WTA Tour title this season – Russia’s world number 15 Maria Kirilenko and home crowd favourite Tsvetana Pironkova (ranked 44th in the world).
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, now ranked 11th, tops the field, but fans in Sofia will miss out on two other former top-ranked players – Venus Williams decided to skip the event, while Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, the defending champion, is committed to play for her country in the Fed Cup final.
The competitors were drawn into their round-robin groups, both named using the old names that Bulgaria’s capital had in the past, on October 29. Wozniacki will top the Serdika group, playing against Roberta Vinci of Italy, Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. Nadia Petrova of Russia is the top seed in the Sredets group, which also features fellow Russian Kirilenko, Zheng Jie of China and Pironkova.
Three matches will be played on the first four days, meaning that each competitor will have one day of rest. Tickets are sold online by ticketpro.bg – for the entire day, featuring three matches, during the round robin part of the tournament, then individually for each match for the semi-finals and final.
The matches will be played in the evening, starting 5pm local time (for the round robin matches), and will be shown live by Bulgarian National Television from 6pm, switching to BNT2 after 8pm.
(WTA Tournament of Champions 2012 field. Photo: sofia-tennis.bg)