Sony Ericsson became the title sponsor of the women's tennis tour in 2005 tour under a six-year, $88 million deal. Although the contract was extended through the end of 2012, the mobile phone company's name was dropped from the tour's title in 2011.
The WTA said in a statement Friday that "2012 will be the eighth and final year of the partnership. They have been a great partner and we will miss them."
Sony Ericsson PR manager Graciela Pineda says "this was a strategic decision based on the evolution of the business and the brand."
AUSTRALIAN OPEN: French players Jeremy Chardy and Aravane Rezai have been given wild cards into the Australian Open under a reciprocal agreement between the French Tennis Federation and Tennis Australia.
Tennis Australia said in a statement the French federation selected Chardy and Rezai and, as part of the agreement, two Australian players will be invited to compete at the French Open in May.
SUSPENDED: Swedish teenage tennis player Lucas Renard has been given a six-month suspension after admitting he violated the sport’s anti-corruption rules.
The Tennis Integrity Unit said that the 19-year-old Renard also was fined $5,000, but that four months of the ban were suspended on condition he attends anti-corruption education training.
The tennis body said the 882nd-ranked Renard had broken a rule stating that no player can “contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome” of a match. It did not specify what he had done.