ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Venus Williams and Serena Williams have qualified for the doubles event at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009, set to take place for the second year in a row at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha, Qatar, from October 27 to November 1.
The Williams sisters are the second team to qualify for the event, joining Cara Black and Liezel Huber. Singles players Dinara Safina, Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva and Caroline Wozniacki have already qualified for the singles event. The world's Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season will compete for the coveted title and a share of the record Championships prize money of $4.55 million.
"We are thrilled to be heading to Doha for the Sony Ericsson Championships," Serena Williams said. "I love playing doubles with Venus as we have so much fun on the court. This year we actually decided to put more emphasis on our doubles careers and going to Doha has been on our minds all season. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to compete at the Sony Ericsson Championships in both singles and doubles."
"It has been extremely rewarding to win a number of big doubles titles with Serena this year," Venus Williams said. "While playing doubles with my sister is one of the best experiences for me, qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships as a team is a great accomplishment and we can't wait to get to Doha and take on the best doubles teams in the world."
The Williamses' season includes titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, also a Premier-level title in Stanford. Their only loss came at Roland Garros, to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova. The sisters are two of only three active players to have a complete career doubles Grand Slam (also Lisa Raymond). They are 10-0 lifetime in Grand Slam doubles finals and are the third-most successful Grand Slam doubles partnership of the Open Era, trailing only Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver (21 majors) and Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva (14 majors).
"Venus and Serena are incredible singles players in their own right, but having them compete in the doubles in Doha will add a new exciting dimension to the Sony Ericsson Championships," said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Tour. "I wish Venus and Serena lots of luck at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships."
"We congratulate Venus and Serena on qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships for the first time in their career as a doubles team," said Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications & PR for Sony Ericsson. "Venus and Serena had a terrific season and are playing incredible tennis together, winning four tournaments. Having them in Doha will add a lot of excitement to what promises to be a great finale to the season."
Sony Ericsson, one of the largest global mobile phone manufacturers known for style and innovation, is committed to bringing entertainment and glamour to tennis, and taking the sport to new places and new audiences. Sony Ericsson's style and technology has attracted a wider interest to women's tennis and provided unique opportunities to the stars of the Tour.
The Championships were first played in 1972 and since then the event has been held in such notable venues as Madison Square Garden, New York City; the Olympiahalle in Munich; Staples Center in Los Angeles; and the Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo in Madrid. Former singles champions include Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, Justine Henin and both Williamses.