Following the very successful completion of The Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic in Bali, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour have announced a new tournament that will feature the next generation of Tour stars and best performers in the Tour's international level tournaments. The tournament, to be named the Commonwealth Bank International Championships, will be staged in Bali, Indonesia beginning in 2009 and will complement the Tour's traditional season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, which features the world's Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams.
The Tour's previously announced 2009 provisional Calendar features 20 premium events, anchored by four mandatory events with equal prize money in each of Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing, and 30 international events across the globe. The best seven performers in these international level tournaments (who have not otherwise qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships), along with one wildcard, will participate in the round-robin format Commonwealth Bank International Championships. The tournament, to be held in Bali from November 3-9, 2009 (the week following the Sony Ericsson Championships), will feature $600,000 total prize money and a winner's check of $200,000. The tournament is initially scheduled to be held in Bali for the three year period 2009-2011.
"The Commonwealth Bank International Championships promises to showcase the Tour's most exciting future stars and best performers in international level Tour events," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "The international events within the 2009 circuit structure will provide fans with world class tennis and an opportunity to see future champions. We are excited to be able to shine a spotlight on these stars through the support of Commonwealth Bank in beautiful Bali."
As the Commonwealth Bank is growing steadily and rapidly in the Asian Region, we are very proud to be able to support this first and finest kind of Championship in Asia and we hope that the tournament will inspire a lot of young talent in Indonesia, Asia and the world to compete and excel in the Championship for many years to come," said President Director PT Bank Commonwealth Symon Brewis-Weston.
"It's great that we will be featuring and promoting in their very own end-of-year finale a group of world class players who are vying to one day be No.1 in the world," said Daniela Hantuchova, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour world number 12. "I have always loved playing in Bali and am sure the Commonwealth Bank International Championships will create great excitement among those players competing in the 2009 international level events with the hope of qualifying for Bali."
"The Commonwealth Bank Tennis Classic already has an enviable reputation for showcasing not only the very best players, but players who are about to establish themselves at the very top of the game," said Bali tournament director Kevin Livesey. "Now these players will be able to end their season competing for a major championship title in one of the most beautiful tournament locations in the world."
Bali has hosted a successful Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Tournament since 2001, and featured champions such as Lindsay Davenport, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Dementieva. The Commonwealth Bank International Championships will replace the regular Bali event during the period 2009-2011.
The 2009 provisional Calendar will feature 56 tournaments in 32 countries, a longer off-season and record prize money of over $84 million. The Commonwealth Bank International Championships will take place the week following the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, to be held in Doha, Qatar in 2009.
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