February 10, 2013 – Doha, Qatar – The Qatar Total Open 2013, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, could be the event where two players have the possibility of lifting the Diamond Ball trophy in addition to the tournament trophy. The Qatar Tennis Federation will present the Diamond Ball trophy to the player who has won the tournament three times –Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova, both from Russia, have the opportunity to lift this trophy.
Maria Sharapova has won the title in Doha in both of her previous appearances in Qatar. In 2005, she won the title for the first time with her 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Alicia Molik of Australia. In 2008, she faced countrywoman Vera Zvonareva in the final and managed a 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 win over her opponent.Currently world No. 3, Sharapova is the winner of 27 singles titles and has won each of the four Grand Slams (Australian Open 2008, French Open 2012, Wimbledon 2004 and US Open 2006) along with the year-end WTA Championships in 2004 and an Olympic silver medal last year. Sharapova returned to No. 1 in the world in 2012 after reaching the French Open final (which she then went on to win by defeating Italy’s Sara Errani) – this marked a clear return of the Russian powerhouse after years of shoulder injury kept her from playing at the highest level.
Nadia Petrova won the Qatar Total Open title twice in the same year, in two different cities. In 2006, Petrova won the Doha event by defeating France’s AmelieMauresmo in the final 6-3, 7-5. Three months later, Petrova played in the Berlin, Germany tournament – also the Qatar Total Open (owned by the Qatar Tennis Federation) – and won the title with her 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Justine Henin of Belgium. Petrova has won 13 singles titles, three of them being won in 2012 (s-Hertogenbosch, Tokyo, Sofia). She has also won 22 doubles titles, reaching the doubles final of the 2010 US Open (with Liezel Huber) and the 2012 French Open (with Maria Kirilenko).
QTF President, Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaifi, spoke of this year’s potential Diamond Ball trophy winners, “It is very exciting to know that two players in the field – Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova – are possible candidates to win the Diamond Ball trophy. It would be an incredible achievement by either player to win the Qatar Total Open title three times. With the talented players in the draw, it is a very competitive field and will be an exciting week of tennis to see if someone will be able to claim the Diamond Ball trophy.”