Mauresmo, Clijsters, Petrova, Sharapova And Henin-Hardenne Confirm Their Participation
Montreal, May 18th, 2006 – Tennis Canada received confirmation that the five top players in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings (as of May 15th) will take part in the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank held at Uniprix Stadium August 12-20, 2006. These players are France’s Amelie Mauresmo (1st), Belgians Kim Clijsters (2nd) and Justine Henin-Hardenne (5th) as well as Russians Nadia Petrova (3rd) and Maria Sharapova (4th).
Mauresmo, who claimed the title at Montreal’s Rogers Cup in 2002 and 2004, is enjoying a remarkable 2006 season so far. She won her first Grand Slam tournament last January at the Australian Open which propelled her to the number one spot in the world rankings, position she still holds to this day. She also won the tournaments in Paris and Anvers and took part in two semifinals at Tier I events in Miami and Berlin.
“I’ve always had success in Montreal and it is with a lot of enthusiasm that I look forward to defend my title in August”, said the world number one. “It is a great city where I feel at home, especially because of the crowd’s wonderful support. The stands are always full and the atmosphere is very special. I am not surprised at all to see that the world’s top players have decided to meet in Montreal once again.”
Kim Clijsters, champion at Toronto’s edition of the Rogers Cup in 2005, will certainly have the opportunity to take the number one spot from Mauresmo in the upcoming tournaments as the gap between the two players is now very narrow. Clijsters, the 2003 US Open champion, held the numer one position back in the summer of 2003.
The Tour’s most surprising player so far in the 2006 season, Nadia Petrova, will also be one to watch. She just won the last three events in which she competed (Berlin, Charleston and Amelia Island) and these three titles moved her ahead of countrymate Maria Sharapova in the rankings. 2003 Wimbledon champion Sharapova who will definitely be a contender for the 2006 Rogers Cup title. She has had her share of success in 2006, claiming the title at Indian Wells and reaching the final in Dubai and Miami.
Justine Henin-Hardenne might not be at the top of tennis’s hierarchy like she was at the end of 2003 but she still remains one of the game’s most dangerous players. Since the start of 2006, she has shown impressive consistency, taking part in a total of seven tournaments and winning two titles (Sydney and Dubai) on top of reaching two finals (Australian Open and Berlin) and two semifinals (Indian Wells and Charleston).