Singapore to host WTA from 2014

Singapore to host WTA from 2014

SINGAPORE - Agence France-Presse
Singapore to host WTA from 2014

US player Serena Williams retains the top spot WTA rankings. AFP photo

Singapore was named as host of the glitzy WTA Championships in a five-year deal from 2014, in a major boost for tennis in Asia. The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state beat out rival bids from China’s Tianjin and Monterrey in Mexico for the season finale, which next year will boast a record purse of $6.5 million.

“This is the largest and most significant WTA Championships partnership in our history. It’s a record-breaker,” said Stacey Allaster, chairwoman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The season-ending event features the top eight women’s players and from next year, the eight leading women’s doubles pairs. It will be the Asia-Pacific region’s second biggest tennis tournament after the Australian Open Grand Slam.

It is also a major addition to Singapore’s portfolio of sports events alongside its Formula One grand prix and big men’s and women’s golf tournaments.

The WTA has placed a strong emphasis on Asia with a record number of tournaments in the region this year, and more due for the 2014 season including five in China alone. The push is largely due to China’s Li Na, who became Asia’s first Grand Slam winner in 2011 and reached her second Australian Open final this year, gaining such a profile that she appeared on Time magazine’s cover last month.

Turkey’s Istanbul is ready for “the final set” of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, with tickets for the year-ending tournament in women’s tennis went on sale on April 29. The top eight players will play at the Sinan Erdem Dome to cap their illustrious seasons between October 22 and 27, but this time will mark the end of Turkey’s three-year hosting deal with WTA, which oversees women’s tennis. Tickets for the Oct. 22-27, 2013 event are now on sale at Biletix. Daily tickets are priced from 30 to 70 Turkish Liras, while two-day semifinal and final packages are on sale for 80 to 160 liras.