Russia's world number six Vera Zvonareva has been named a "Promoter of Gender Equality" on Wednesday as part of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's partnership with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
In this role she has become the fifth ambassador of such kind following Venus Williams, Tatiana Golovin, Zheng Jie as well as Tour founder Billie Jean King.
Zvonareva, a winner of nine singles and five doubles titles on women's circuit, had the best year of her career in 2008, firmly establishing herself in the Top 10 where she currently resides as world No 6.
The 24-year-old already has a keen interest in education and international leadership, having enrolled in the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2007, where she is studying for a post-graduate diploma in International Relations and Economics.
In her new role as a Promoter of Gender Equality, Zvonareva will raise awareness of gender equality issues at both national and global level, and have a direct involvement in current and future women's leadership programs to be developed through the UNESCO-Tour partnership.
"I am truly honored to be serving as a Promoter of Gender Equality, especially being the first one from Russia," Zvonareva told WTA's officilal website (www.sonyericssonwtatour.com) on Wednesday.
"I think that the UNESCO-Sony Ericsson WTA Tour partnership is incredibly important and this is a role that I value highly and will work extremely hard in helping young girls and women all around the world to gain better opportunities to succeed in whatever they wish to do.
"In particular I very much believe in the importance and value of education and the rights of all women and girls to have equal access to it."