Elina Svitolina headlines the 2017 TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup alongside last year’s surprise homegrown winner Cagla Buyukakcay when the WTA International clay tournament takes place between 24-30, April.
WTA Istanbul 2017 tournament schedule
|Date - Time||Event Name|| Location|
|26 Apr 2017 10:30||R1 + R2||Koza World of Sports|
|27 Apr 2017 10:30||R2||Koza World of Sports|
|28 Apr 2017 10:30||QF||Koza World of Sports|
|29 Apr 2017 12:30||SF||Koza World of Sports|
|30 Apr 2017 12:00||Final||Koza World of Sports|
Who is playing WTA Istanbul in 2017?
After breaking into the top 10 earlier this season, Elina Svitolina will lead the 2017 TED BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup field. While many of the world’s best players are competing in at the Premier Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart this week, Svitolina is the only top 25 player who has entered Istanbul.
The Ukrainian was in stellar form earlier this season, compiling an impressive 14-match winning streak that included a pair of WTA titles at Taipei City and Dubai - easily the biggest win of Svitolina’s career - and two Fed Cup singles triumphs for her country against Australia. However three early exits at Kuala Lumpur, Indian Wells and Miami have stymied Svitolina’s momentum, and she will be determined to regain top form in Istanbul.
Among the other leading contenders for the silverware include the improving Timea Babos and Yulia Putintseva. Hungary’s Babos is an extremely destructive player on her day and she has already captured a WTA title this year at home in Budapest, while Putintseva also enjoyed a successful run to the St. Petersburg final, where she was edged by Kristina Mladenovic in an epic three-set final.
Other notable names in the 2017 field include Irina-Camelia Begu, Eugenie Bouchard, Tsvetana Pironkova, Sorana Cirstea and Andrea Petkovic.
We also mustn’t forget the defending champion, Turkey’s own Cagla Buyukakcay, who at the time of writing isn’t ranked high enough for direct entry, but she will certainly receive a wildcard into the main draw.
WTA Istanbul 2017 seeds
|1||13||Elina Svitolina||QF (2014)|
|5||66||Sorana Cirstea||QF (2010)|
|7||74||Tsvetana Pironkova||SF (2005, 2008)|
|8||78||Andrea Petkovic||SF (2009-10)|
About the TED BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup
WTA Istanbul continues its return to its roots as a clay-court event in 2017, to be played 24-30 April at the Koza World of Sport complex. The International-level TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup offers $226,750 in prize money and 250 ranking points to the winner.
The TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup was first staged in 2005 as a clay-court event held in May before the French Open, with Venus Williams defeating Anna Chakvetadze, Tsvetana Pironkova and finally Nicole Vaidisova to win the tournament. Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, was succeeded as Istanbul champion by Shahar Peer in 2006 (d. Anastasia Myskina), Elena Dementieva in 2007 (d. Aravane Rezai) and in its last year as a clay-court event, by Agnieszka Radwanska in 2008, who won the third title of her career when she defeated Dementieva in the final. Radwanska would go on to win 18 career titles including the WTA Finals Singapore in 2015 and be ranked as high as world no. 2.
In 2009, WTA Istanbul became a hard-court event held after Wimbledon, offering top players a chance to tune up their games for the American hard-court season in the historic surroundings of the Turkish capital. Vera Dushevina was the first to win the new hard-court July iteration of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup, followed by fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 2010.
Former champions Venus Williams and Pavlyuchenkova headlined the 2015 TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup alongside Elina Svitolina and former world no. 1 Jelena Jankovic, but WTA Istanbul 2015 ultimately featured a final clash of two unseeded players as Lesia Tsurenko defeated Urszula Radwanska 7-5, 6-1 to claim the first title of her career.
WTA Istanbul was moved from it’s customary post-Wimbledon date in 2016 to accommodate the Olympic year, moving to a slot alongside the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart in the first official week of the WTA Tour’s European clay court season. Changing surfaces back to its original clay, WTA Istanbul is now held just two weeks before the first of the major clay-court events in Madrid, followed by Rome and the French Open, so the revamped Istanbul Cup now offers players a chance to find their clay-court feet and tune up their games on the red dirt ahead of the key battlegrounds of the tennis spring.
And it was the unseeded Cagla Buyukakcay who capped a fairytale and historic week when the homegrown favourite came from a set down to win her first WTA title with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 win over Danka Kovinic in the final. Buyukakcay, who cracked the top 100 for the first time with the win, made history for Turkey with each passing day in Istanbul, becoming the first Turkish woman to reach a WTA semi-final, final and eventually win a WTA title.
2017 WTA Istanbul tournament information
|Dates||24-30 April, 2017|
|Venue||Koza World of Sport complex|
|Most titles||Venus Williams, Shahar Peer, Elena Dementieva, Agnieszka Radwanska, Vera Dushevina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Caroline Wozniacki, Lesia Tsurenko, Cagla Buyukakcay (all 1)|
|Reigning singles champion||Cagla Buyukakcay|
|Reigning doubles champions||Andreea Mitu/Ipek Soylu|
Previous WTA Istanbul champions
|2005||Venus Williams||Nicole Vaidisova|
|2006||Shahar Peer||Anastasia Myskina|
|2007||Elena Dementieva||Aravane Rezai|
|2008||Agnieszka Radwanska||Elena Dementieva|
|2009||Vera Dushevina||Lucie Hradecka|
|2010||Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova||Elena Vesnina|
|2011||Not held||Not held|
|2012||Not held||Not held|
|2013||Not held||Not held|
|2014||Caroline Wozniacki||Roberta Vinci|
|2015||Lesia Tsurenko||Urszula Radwasnka|
|2016||Cagla Buyukakcay||Danka Kovinic|
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