Ana Ivanovic has claimed the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ACES Award for the first time in her career by virtue of an impressive push of off-court promotional activities at the end of the season-long ACES Race. The award is given to the player who consistently goes above and beyond to promote the sport of women’s tennis to fans, media, in the community and beyond.
“I’m very happy to win this fun competition,” Ivanovic said. “Being a professional tennis player is about a lot more than just hitting tennis balls and winning matches. The off-court side of things is also very important, and it’s essential that we as athletes do what we can to promote the sport. There have been a lot of enjoyable ACES activities this year. I always enjoy meeting fans, sponsors and other guests when I’m at tournaments. Two of my most enjoyable activities this year were playing doubles with some amateur players in Tokyo and the photo shoot we did in Dubai.”
“Ana is not only an incredible athlete and champion, but also a player who has earned the respect and admiration of fans, media and sponsors by continuously giving back,” said Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. “Throughout the 2008 season, Ana has given of herself selflessly and been a true ambassador in promoting our sport.”
“Ana has made a significant effort to promote women’s tennis this year and it gives me great pleasure to present her with this award during the Sony Ericsson Championships,” said Aldo Liguori, CVP and Global Head of Communications and PR, Sony Ericsson. “It’s great to see some very strong contenders for the 2008 ACES Award and to recognise the players who are so dedicated and passionate towards promoting women’s tennis to fans and new audiences.”
This year marked the second season in a row that a point weighted system was used to award each of the off-court activities performed by players at Tour events. After each event, the off-court contributions of each player are measured and the ACES Race standings are published on sonyericssonwtatour.com.
The following is a breakdown of the players who amassed the most points during the 2008 season for ACES activities:
1. Ivanovic, Ana (595)
2. Jankovic, Jelena (565)
3. Williams, Serena (345)
4. Chakvetadze, Anna (315)
5.Dementieva, Elena (315)
6.Hantuchova, Daniela (315)
7. Kuznetsova, Svetlana (265)
8. Williams, Venus (245)
9. Schnyder, Patty (240)
10. Petrova, Nadia (230)
The ACES award was first introduced in 1995, in memory of former Tour CEO Jerry Diamond. Since then eight players have won the award, namely Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Gabriela Sabatini, Amanda Coetzer, Lindsay Davenport, Martina Hingis, Anastasia Myskina, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ivanovic.
Article and Photo from WTA