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Shenzhen to replace Singapore as venue for WTA Finals

Shenzhen to replace Singapore as venue for WTA Finals
January 18, 2018

China's growing importance in women's tennis is set to expand with the city of Shenzhen announced as the new venue for the season-ending Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals from 2019 to 2028.

The southern city, which already hosts a WTA tournament in early January, will replace Singapore following a bid which promises to build a new 12,000-seat downtown venue and double the prize money to US$14 million.

The top eight women and doubles pairings compete in the tournament, which has run in various guises since 1972 but has always sat well below the four grand slams in terms of prestige.

Announcing the 10-year hosting deal, the Tour Chairman Steve Simon today advised “it gives me great pleasure to announce that the dynamic city of Shenzhen has been chosen to host the WTA Finals, the WTA's crown jewel season finale, for the next decade.

"This will easily be the largest and most significant WTA Finals deal in the 45 years since the WTA was founded and promises to take the event to a spectacular new level."

Shenzhen saw off competition from Manchester, England; the Czechia capital of Prague and St Petersburg, Russia to land the event.

The Singapore Tourism Board and Sport Singapore confirmed in a joint statement yesterday that they had decided to not pursue the opportunity to extend their five-year hosting rights deal with the WTA.

Shenzhen’s winning bid was submitted by Chinese real estate developer Gemdale Corporation.

WTA President Micky Lawler added “Shenzhen is an exciting, fast-evolving metropolis of 68 million people and staging the WTA Finals there will ensure the WTA’s global fan base goes from strength to strength.

“(We) know from our existing events in the region led by the China Open that they will support all of the stars of the WTA with tremendous enthusiasm.”

The WTA Finals is contested by the top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams. Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is the defending singles champion, with Tímea Babos and Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková the reigning doubles champions.

Prior to Singapore, the event was hosted in the Qatari capital of Doha from 2008 to 2010.

In 2008, the WTA began a strategic initiative to grow the brand and tournament footprint in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Shenzhen’s winning bid was submitted by Chinese real estate developer Gemdale Corporation.

Liu Fengning, General Manager of Gemdale’s Sports Industry group concluded “this world class event will attract local and foreign tennis fans and add to Shenzhen’s reputation as an outward-looking and vibrant global city.

“We embrace the WTA’s values of inclusiveness and equality, and are grateful for the opportunity to add to China’s tennis legacy by staging an event that encourages young generations to take up the sport.” 

Images: Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard and Simona Halep with the Billie Jean King Trophy ahead of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore in 2014 (top, courtesy of Paul Lakatos/WSG) and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre (below).

5th September 2017 - GEMBA CHIEF EXECUTIVE CALLS FOR A FIFTH TENNIS GRAND SLAM IN CHINA 

20th March 2017 - FIRST EVENTS STAGED AT CHINA’S SHENYANG NEW WORLD EXPO

28th November 2016 - CHINA’S PLAN TO MASSIVELY EXPAND ITS SPORTS INDUSTRY  

12th July 2016 - MALAYSIA FAREWELLS ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL SPORTING EVENT

21st June 2016 - CHINESE PROFESSIONAL SPORTS MARKET TO REACH US$242 BILLION BY 2025

6th November 2015 - POPULOUS DESIGNED ZHUHAI TENNIS VENUE HOSTS ITS FIRST INTERNATIONAL EVENT 

15th October 2014 - AUSTRALIAN OPEN STEPS UP MARKETING TO CHINESE TENNIS LOVERS 

5th February 2014 - SINGAPORE TO BE FIRST ASIAN HOST OF WTA YEAR-END CHAMPIONSHIPS

27th January 2013 - DAWN OF THE ASIAN CENTURY OF TENNIS 

31st July 2011 - SHENZHEN READY TO HOLD A UNIQUE UNIVERSIADE


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