Qatar Airways to Sponsor WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia
Bulgaria's capital Sofia will host the Tournament of the Champions for the first time October 30-November 4, a chance for tennis fans to enjoy some of the world's elite players.
Qatar Airways will sponsor the event, its representatives announced on Thursday, but refused to disclose the financial terms of the deal.
"This tournament is an international sporting event of great magnitude, and we are honored that we will be partners. We know that some of the best players in the world come from Bulgaria and the region, which is the reason why Qatar Airways will continue to invest in this part the world. For us Bulgaria is not only a business partner but also a major tourist destination," Paul Johannes, Vice President of the company, said.
The tournament will feature eight tennis players, the names of two are already clear, having received a "wild card" - the best Bulgarian female tennis star Tsvetana Pironkova and Russian Maria Kirilenko, who is No. 15 in the rankings.
The former No. 4 in the WTA World rankings Magdalena Maleeva, who was the last Bulgarian who played the WTA Championships, hopes the event will stir great interest.
"I hope so although I am not sure that all the players are well-known in Bulgaria. Fingers crossed for a full house during the matches of Tsvetana Pironkova," Maggie said in an interview for the official site of the tournament.
Asked what makes The Championships different from the other Tour stops, Maleeva said this is a great reward for the efforts over the whole year.
"I will be happy if Ana Ivanovic comes. In my last year on the tour we used to practice together and I cherish very good feelings toward her."
The 2012 WTA Tournament of Champions is a singles-only tennis tournament that will be played on indoor hard courts in Sofia. It is the fourth edition of the tournament and is part of the 2012 WTA Tour.
The 2012 edition is the first to be held in Sofia, having been relocated from Bali, where the tournament was held for the previous three years and called the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions.
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