New WTA Event in Mallorca in 2016 Further Expands Grass Court Season

WTA Logo

(June 9, 2014) WTA – ST PETERSBURG, FL, USA — The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced that the WTA Board of Directors has approved a new grass court International event in Mallorca, Spain starting in 2016.


The 32-player main draw International event will be staged by e|motion management GmbH at a multi-purpose-built facility, sports complex in Mallorca, Spain. In 2016, Mallorca will join Birmingham in the second week of the three-week swing, resulting in five WTA grass court events in the lead-up to The Championships, Wimbledon.  An experienced sports and events promoter in Germany, e|motion currently manages the ATP 250 event in Stuttgart, including when the event becomes a grass court tournament in Stuttgart beginning in 2015.


The sports complex in Mallorca will feature five permanent natural grass courts and world class facilities, including a retail development and a tennis academy. The construction and maintenance of the grass courts will be done in collaboration with The All England Lawn Tennis Club, which has been a prime supporter in the project.


Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships, Wimbledon, said: “I am delighted to welcome today’s announcement of the prospect of a new event in Mallorca and wish to thank the WTA, the Mallorca Council and e|motion for their support of grass court tennis and their considerable efforts in creating an exciting new event for players and fans to enjoy. The Aegon Classic in Birmingham is already a successful, well-established and growing event and having a second event in week two will be another important step in achieving our vision of a significantly strengthened grass court season.”


Beginning in 2015, the international professional tennis calendar will provide for a three-week grass court swing between the second Grand Slam event of the year, played on red clay at Roland Garros in Paris and The Championships, staged on the lawns of the All England Club in southwest London. The three weeks of grass-court events will be composed of two International level events in the first week in Nottingham, England and in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, which moves earlier from its traditional timing. The Aegon Classic in Birmingham follows in the second week, with the Aegon International at Eastbourne Premier event in the third week, before the attention of the tennis world settles on Wimbledon.


Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO said: “With the grass court season set to expand next year, it was important for the WTA to provide players and fans alike with a fresh opportunity to experience the expanded grass court tennis season. Thanks to the cooperation of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the WTA Board of Directors and e|motion management, the event in Mallorca will strengthen the grass court season leading up to Wimbledon.”


Edwin Weindorfer,  CEO and Founder of e|motion management said:  “We are very excited about the great opportunity to join the WTA with a new tournament in Mallorca, Spain. Besides thanking the WTA and their board for their trust and committment to provide us with the licence and sanction of this new event, we wanted  to further thank The All England Lawn Tennis Club for their ongoing support and vision for another grasscourt tournament in continental Europe.”


Peer Zebergs, newly appointed Tournament Director added:  “The island of Mallorca is known for its sports celebrities and great sporting events.  This WTA International tournament will increase the sports portfolio in Mallorca and it will be an important factor for tourism to millions of foreign visitors and the local population in Palma and Mallorca in the coming years.”


The complete 2016 WTA Calendar will be released in due course.


2015 WTA Grass Court Calendar:

Week Premier International
Week 23 (June 8)   Nottingham


Week 24 (June 15) Birmingham  
Week 25 (June 22) Eastbourne  
Week 26 & 27

(June 29 & July 6)

The Championships, Wimbledon



Provisional 2016 WTA Grass Court Calendar:

Week Premier International
Week 24 (June 6)   Nottingham


Week 25 (June 13) Birmingham Mallorca
Week 26 (June 20) Eastbourne  
Week 27 & 28

(June 27 & July 4)

The Championships, Wimbledon



Hsieh Su-Wei Joins Doubles Partner Peng Shuai Atop WTA Doubles Rankings



(May 9, 2014) MADRID, SPAIN – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that Hsieh Su-Wei will rise to the World No.1 doubles ranking on Monday, May 12, joining her doubles partner Peng Shuai as co-No.1s. Hsieh is the first player from Chinese Taipei to ascend to the WTA World No.1 doubles ranking. Hsieh and Peng are the 10th team in WTA history to stand as co-No.1 in the WTA Doubles Rankings.

“It is a great accomplishment for Hsieh Su-Wei to join Peng Shuai as co-World No.1s,” said WTA Chairman and CEO, Stacey Allaster. “Not only are Hsieh and Peng a great doubles team, but they are an inspiration to the fans throughout the Asia-Pacific region. ”

“Reaching No.1 in the world is a great feeling,” said Hsieh. “We have been working really hard as a team. I was very proud of Peng reached No.1 earlier this year and now I am happy we can share the No.1 rankings.”

“Our goal this year is to reach Singapore,” explained Peng. “It is nice to share the doubles No.1 ranking with Su-Wei and we look forward to playing together the rest of the year, trying to reach the WTA Championships.”

Hsieh teamed up with Peng for a breakthrough year in 2013, winning five doubles titles, highlighted by their first major championship at Wimbledon and the WTA Championships. They also raised the champions’ trophy at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) and Guangzhou Open. Earlier this year, the duo has won titles at the Qatar Total Open (Doha) and at BNP Paripas Open (Indian Wells) in March, as the pair now has a perfect 11-0 record in doubles finals.

2014 has been marked by rankings breakthroughs for players from Asia-Pacific. In addition to Hsieh who has made history for Chinese Taipei tennis, earlier in February this year Chinese players Li Na climbed to No.2 in the singles rankings and Peng to No.1 in doubles rankings, both new national records for Chinese tennis. A two-time Grand Slam champion, Li also became the first Asian player to hold the WTA World No.2 singles ranking, while Peng is the first Chinese player to rise to the WTA World No.1 doubles ranking.

Hsieh and Peng currently sit at No.5 in the Road to Singapore for the BNP Paribas WTA Championships presented by SC Global and they have a chance to improve to No.2 in the Road to Singapore Leaderboard this week in Madrid, depending on this week’s results.


WTA TV Interactive Viewing Guide Launched

WTA Logo

(January 28, 2014) The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced the launch of WTA TV developed by Xerox, an interactive viewing guide that will allow fans to track the latest broadcast information for WTA Premier events based on users’ locations.  WTA TV developed by Xerox can be found at http:// www.wtatennis.com/wtatv.


In 2013, WTA tournaments were broadcast in 164 international markets, showing more than 400 matches from 22 Premier events. The introduction of WTA TV is aimed to empower the fans and create a more user-friendly experience when following the tournaments throughout the year.


“Since Xerox has joined the WTA family as a partner, they’ve brought the fans of women’s tennis closer to our stars and enriched the fan experience,” said WTA Chairman & CEO, Stacey Allaster. “For fans who travel, they’ll never have to wonder again what channel is covering a WTA tournament.  Now, with a simple click, they’ll know.”


“Xerox and the WTA are always considering natural ways to help each other achieve business objectives and amplify reach. It’s the essence of our partnership,” said Jon Levine, Vice President, Xerox Global Experiential Marketing. “WTA TV is just one proud example of a program we were able to develop for our partner through the services that Xerox has to offer.”



Serena Williams to Defend Title at Year-End Championships on Tennis Channel


(October 17, 2013) LOS ANGELES, – Tennis Channel will be live at the women’s year-end championships in Istanbul, Turkey, throughout next week, as tennis’ top-eight singles players and best-four doubles teams of the year compete for 2013 crowns. With daylong coverage October 22-27, the network will offer close to 40 hours of round-robin and knockout-stage matches at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. No. 1 among them, 2013 US Open and French Open winner Serena Williams will attempt to win her second-consecutive year-ending singles championship, and the fourth of her Hall of Fame career.


During the six-day event, Tennis Channel will cover all round-robin and singles and doubles semifinal matches live, followed by same-day encore singles and doubles championships Sunday, Oct. 27. Weekday telecasts will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, with varied schedules on the weekend (complete schedule follows). As with 2012, Tennis Channels’ Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) will call the matches beside analyst Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76), who won three-straight year-end doubles crowns from 1996-1998, and the singles title in 1999. On Friday, Oct. 25, Corina Morariu, who held the No. 1 doubles ranking in 2000, will fill in for Davenport.


The annual year-end women’s tennis championships are limited to just the eight singles players who earned the most points during the calendar year, and the four top points-earning doubles teams. Every autumn the tournament splits the singles players into two groups of four, with each player guaranteed at least three matches during the week, against the other three members of her group. Following this round-robin play of all-stars, the top two in each group move on to a traditional, single-elimination knockout stage of semifinals and the final match. The four doubles teams also compete in this single-elimination format.


As she pursues her fourth year-end title, Williams faces a field that includes 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanksa, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Jelena Jankovic and Angelique Kerber. The doubles draw is led by 2013 Australian Open champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. The other three teams consist of Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai, Nadia Petrova/Katarina Srebotnik and Ekatarina Makarova/Elena Vesnina.


Tennis Channel’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, will feature additional TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships information during the tournament. The network will also interact with viewers on platforms Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/tennischannel).


Tennis Channel’s 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships Schedule

(all matches live unless otherwise indicated)


Date                            Time (ET)                   Event                                                                          

Tuesday, Oct. 22         10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.        Round-Robin Action

Wednesday, Oct. 23    10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.        Round-Robin Action

Thursday, Oct. 24        10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.        Round-Robin Action

Friday, Oct. 25             10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.        Round-Robin Action

Saturday, Oct. 26         6 a.m.-7:30 a.m.          Doubles Semifinal

8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.          Doubles Semifinal, Singles Semifinal

Sunday, Oct. 27           8:30 p.m.-12 a.m.        Doubles Final (Encore), Singles Final (Encore)


Angelique Kerber Earns Final Singles Spot in WTA Championships

Angelique Kerber

(October 11, 2013) Germany’s Angelique Kerber has earned final singles spot at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013. Kerber secured her spot by advancing to the semifinals of the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria.


For the second year in a row – and only the second time in the WTA Championships’ 43-year history – each player in the singles draw will represent a different country: Serena Williams (United States), Victoria Azarenka (Belarus), Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland), Li Na (China), Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic), Sara Errani (Italy), Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) and Angelique Kerber (Germany).


The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize money.

“I am so excited to be returning to Istanbul for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships,” said Kerber after advancing to the semifinals in Linz.  “The fans last year were amazing and I look forward for the chance to play against the best players in the world. ”


Kerber is appearing at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for the second time, after making her event debut in 2012.


Maria Sharapova Withdraws from WTA Year-End Championships, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jelena Jankovic Qualify


(October 7, 2013) – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova, Italy’s Sara Errani and Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic have qualified for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be held at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013. Kvitova, Errani and Jankovic join a singles line-up that already includes Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na.


World No.3 Maria Sharapova announced her withdrawal from the Championships due to a continuing right shoulder injury..


“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play in the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships this year. The fans in Istanbul have welcomed us each year with such intense passion and warmth, I will sincerely miss the energy and excitement they brought to the year-end tournament. I want to thank Istanbul for being a tremendous host and hope to play in Turkey sometime in the future,” said Sharapova.


The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams to compete for $6 million in prize money. Istanbul is hosting the season-ending event for a third and final year.


Doubles field set for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships


(October 4, 2013) The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced the complete doubles field for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul with the teams of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, and Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina securing their qualification. These players will join the previously qualified pair of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci at the year-end Championships to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013.


The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams to compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize. The year-end doubles WTA World No.1 ranking will be on the line as Istanbul hosts the elite season-ending competition for a third and final year. In the singles event, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na have already secured their places.


“Each of these teams had magnificent seasons and it is exciting to see their hard work has earned them a spot in the year-end TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships,” said WTA Chairman & CEO, Stacey Allaster. “The lineup promises to provide an exciting competition with Grand Slam champions, former No.1s and the best WTA doubles players competing at our crown-jewel event.”


The doubles draw ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 24, with semifinals taking place on Saturday, October 26, and the final on Sunday, October 27.



Petrova and Srebotnik advanced to six doubles finals this year, including five in the first three months of the season, winning titles at Apia International Sydney, Sony Open (Miami) and Aegon International (Eastbourne), and finishing runners-up at Qatar Total Open (Doha), Dubai Duty Free Championships and BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells). The duo also performed strongly at the Grand Slams, reaching the semifinals at Roland Garros and quarterfinals at Wimbledon and US Open.


Before this year, Petrova and Srebotnik had previously teamed up as far back as 2003, in a partnership that was highlighted by winning the title at 2008 Kremlin Cup (Moscow) and a finals appearance at 2012 Rogers Cup (Montréal). Collectively they own 58 doubles titles, with Petrova winning 24 and Srebotnik 34, placing her fifth among active WTA players.


This marks the third time in her career Petrova has qualified for the doubles competition, having previously won the title in 2004 (with Meghann Shaughnessy) and 2012 (with Maria Kirilenko). She also competed in singles at the Championships three times (2005, 2006, 2008). Srebotnik will be competing at the Championships for the seventh time in her career with her fourth different partner (2001-02 with Tina Krizan; 2007-08 with Ai Sugiyama; 2010-11 with Kveta Peschke).



Hsieh and Peng teamed up to win four doubles titles this year, highlighted by their victory at Wimbledon, as Hsieh became the first player from Chinese Taipei to win a Grand Slam title. They also raised the champions’ trophy at Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati) and the Guangzhou Open. As a team, they won the first two WTA events they played – 2008 Bali and 2009 Sydney – and have posted a perfect 8-0 record in WTA doubles finals. Overall, Hsieh owns 13 career WTA doubles titles and Peng has won 11.


Peng will be the third Chinese woman to compete in doubles at the Championships joining Zheng Jie and Yan Zi, who teamed up in 2006. Hsieh will be fourth Taiwanese woman to compete at the year-end event joining Janet Lee (2002), and Chuang Chia-Jung and Chan Yung-Jan, who teamed up in 2007.



Makarova and Vesnina have captured two doubles titles this year, winning the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and Roland Garros, where they became only the second all-Russian pairing to win a Grand Slam title. The pair also reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, Rogers Cup (Toronto) and Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati), and quarterfinals at the US Open. Individually, Vesnina has won 10 career WTA doubles titles, and Makarova has five WTA doubles titles to her name.


The Russians have won four doubles titles together and will be making their debut at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.


Sharapova, Radwanska and Errani/Vinci qualify for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships


ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska and the top doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have qualified for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013. Despite qualifying, Sharapova’s participation in Istanbul remains questionable due to her continuing recovery from injury.


The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s best women tennis players as the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. Istanbul is set to host the elite season-ending competition for a triumphant third and final year.


“We are excited to add Maria, Agnieszka, Sara and Roberta to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul player field, although Maria continues to rehab from her injury,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “We are less than a month away from the Championships and are eager to continue building towards what will be another sensational tournament for the fans in Istanbul and tennis fans around the world.”


Maria Sharapova


Sharapova captured titles at the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Stuttgart) in 2013 and has now won at least one title annually for the last 11 years.  Only three players – Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf – have enjoyed longer streaks. The Russian was also a finalist at the Sony Open Tennis (Miami), Mutua Madrid Open and Roland Garros, falling on each occasion to Serena Williams. Despite left hip and right shoulder injuries curtailing her fall hard court season, Sharapova is the third player to secure her Istanbul singles qualification.


The 26-year-old has qualified for the year-end finale for the seventh time in her career. She won the event on her debut in 2004, defeating Serena Williams in the championship match, and is a two-time finalist, in 2007 and most recently 2012. Only once has she failed to reach at least the semifinal stage, withdrawing from round-robin play in 2011 with an ankle injury.


Agnieszka Radwanska


Radwanska opened the 2013 season with back-to-back titles at ASB Classic (Auckland) and Apia International Sydney, in addition to winning last week’s KDB Korea Open (Seoul), taking her career tally to 13. The 24-year-old finished runner-up at Bank of the West Classic (Stanford), and was a four-time semifinalist at Wimbledon, Qatar Total Open (Doha), Sony Open Tennis (Miami) and Rogers Cup (Toronto). After the US Open she surpassed $13million in career prize money and is now one of the Top 20 earners in WTA history.


The Pole has qualified for the WTA Championships for the third successive year, as well as competing as an alternate in 2008 and 2009. Her best result came last year, reaching the semifinals, before falling to eventual champion Serena Williams. Radwanska’s third round-robin match in 2013 against Sara Errani was the longest recorded best-of-three-set match in Championships history at three hours, 29 minutes. The previous record was set during the 2007 final, when Justine Henin defeated Maria Sharapova in three hours, 24 minutes.


Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci


Last year Errani and Vinci earned the distinction of becoming the first all-Italian team to compete at the prestigious year-end event and went on to finish the season as WTA Doubles Team of the Year. Vinci is returning to the Championships for the third time in her career: her appearances now span a 12-year period, having made her debut in 2001 partnering Sandrine Testud. Errani, who played in both the singles and doubles events in 2012, has qualified in doubles for the second straight year and remains on track to secure a singles berth as well.


The Italians began the season in strong form, triumphing at the Australian Open to win their third Grand Slam crown, followed by titles at Open GDF Suez (Paris Indoors) and Qatar Total Open (Doha). They also made finals appearances at Roland Garros, Apia International Sydney, and Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome). Underscoring their success, the pair has held the World No.1 Doubles ranking either individually or collectively since October last year. First teaming up on a regular basis in 2010, Errani and Vinci have collected a total of 16 doubles titles as a team. They have also compiled an undefeated record to date in Fed Cup doubles competition for Italy, and are due to face Russia in November’s final.


Serena Williams First to Qualify for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul

Day 3 Serena Williams press conference

(August 5, 2013) ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today that singles World No.1 Serena Williams is the first player to qualify for this year’s TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, to be staged at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 22-27, 2013.


The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships showcases the world’s best women tennis players as the Top 8 singles players and Top 4 doubles teams compete for a record-setting $6 million in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. Istanbul is set to host the elite season-ending competition for a triumphant third and final year.


“I congratulate Serena on becoming the first player to secure her place at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul,” said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Serena is having yet another extraordinary season on tour, and continues to be one of the sport’s greatest champions. She has earned the opportunity to defend her title and be part of our very special season finale in Istanbul.”


Turkish Tennis Federation president Osman Tural said: “Excitement is building for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul with the confirmation that World No.1 Serena Williams will be back to defend the title she won following an unforgettable performance in 2012. I believe the final year of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul will be remembered as one of the most successful organizations in the history of the event. For the last two years the eyes of the world have turned to Istanbul for this significant tournament, which plays a vital role in supporting the Olympic bid of Istanbul for the 2020 Olympic Games. We invite all tennis fans to experience this wonderful event from 22-27 October and see the best players in the world in action.”


“I’m very excited to have qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships and have the opportunity to return to Istanbul in October to defend my title,” said Williams. “The support we received from the fans at last year’s Championships was overwhelming and it’s going to be a very special feeling returning to Turkey and playing in that incredible atmosphere once again.”


Williams returns to Istanbul to defend the title she won last year in front of a vocal, sell-out crowd. The 31-year-old has now qualified for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for the 10th time in her career, and is a three-time champion at the event (2001, 2009, 2012), in addition to reaching finals in 2002 and 2004.


The American has amassed an impressive 51-3 record so far this season, including a career-best 34-match win streak while collecting a tour-leading seven titles along the way: Brisbane International, Sony Open Tennis (her sixth title at Miami), Family Circle Cup (Charleston), Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Roland Garros (her 16th Grand Slam singles crown), and Collector Swedish Open (Bastad).


With 53 titles, Williams currently is tied for ninth with Monica Seles on the all-time list for most titles won. In February this year, she returned to the World No.1 ranking, becoming the oldest player to hold the top spot, which she has now done so for 148 non-consecutive weeks across the course of her career. During Wimbledon she achieved her 600th win at all levels, a feat that has been accomplished by just 14 other players in WTA history.


Following two successful, record-breaking editions, Istanbul hosts the Championships for the third and final year in 2013. In 2012, the event attracted more than 73,000 fans during six days of competition, the highest attendance at the year-end event since 2000. Championships broadcast coverage reached 167 countries, and the overall hours produced increased 25 percent, including live matches, match replays, and highlights. Nearly 42 million fans followed the on-court and behind-the-scenes action via WTA social media and digital platforms, leading to a record-setting week for the official WTA website (www.wtatennis.com) with approximately 4.8 million page impressions and nearly 500,000 unique visitors.


Tickets to the 2013 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul are now available for purchase through Biletix, either online at www.biletix.com or at Biletix ticket counters in Turkey, with a special 15 percent discount on offer for fans purchasing tickets using TEB credit cards.


Follow all the latest news about the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul on www.wtachampionships.com, www.facebook.com/WTA, and www.twitter.com/WTA using #WTAChamps.



(players/teams in bold already qualified)



Serena Williams (USA) 7520   Errani / Vinci (ITA/ITA) 6780
Maria Sharapova (RUS) 5890   Petrova/Srebotnik (RUS/SLO) 5660
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 5370   Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) 4681
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 4277   Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 3935
Sara Errani (ITA) 3781   Barty/Dellacqua (AUS/AUS) 3215
Li Na (CHN) 3300   Groenefeld/Peschke(GER/CZE) 3130
Marion Bartoli (FRA) 3048  
Petra Kvitova (CZE) 2671      
Sabine Lisicki (GER) 2471      
Roberta Vinci (ITA) 2460      

WTA Legends to be Honored at 40th Anniversary Celebration

40 love

LONDON, UK – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced it will celebrate four decades of growth and achievement with a special gathering of WTA World No.1s at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in London on Sunday, June 30.


Former WTA No.1s, WTA Founder Billie Jean King and Margaret Court will headline the once-in-a-lifetime celebration of women’s professional tennis royalty during this historic season. WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster, King and 19 women who have held the distinction of being ranked WTA World No.1 in singles since computer rankings were introduced in 1975 will be honored at this event emceed by Pam Shriver and Mary Carillo. Among the guests will be some of the sport’s most iconic and loved names, including Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Justine Henin and current World No.1 Serena Williams.


Fans around the world will be able to enjoy the celebration by watching WTA Live: 40 LOVE presented by Xerox, an on-line webcast of the red carpet arrivals starting at 3.00pm, followed by the full gala presentation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT_OVo2FC0c.


“The WTA’s 40th Anniversary has given us time to reflect on the impact and inspiration women’s professional tennis has had on generations of women,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster. “This event will provide an amazing opportunity to pay tribute to our Founder Billie Jean King, a pioneer for social change, and the champions who have been responsible for carrying on the vision of equality and empowerment around the world, for the past four decades and onward.”


The WTA was founded in 1973, when 63 players, led by Billie Jean King, met behind locked doors in the Gloucester Hotel, London, to form an association seeking equality, recognition and respect. Forty years later, the WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport, and proudly counts many pioneering accomplishments, including the successful campaign for equal prize money. During this time, prize money and global presence has increased from $1.9 million with events in 10 countries in its inaugural year, to $118 million with events in 33 different countries in 2013.


“When we gathered in that hotel room 40 years ago, our vision was that any girl, anywhere in the world, could make a living from tennis if she was good enough,” said Billie Jean King. “Today’s WTA players are living that dream. They’ve taken the baton and run with it, lifting the game to ever greater heights and inspiring a whole new generation of players. I can’t believe how far we’ve come and I couldn’t be happier to join these inspirational women to celebrate 40 great years on Sunday.”


“I’m so proud to be among the women attending Sunday’s 40 LOVE celebration,” said World No.1 and 16-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams. “I think tennis empowers women and is one of the best sports for a female to play and be part of. Sharing the stage with so many trailblazers of our sport will be a special experience. There have been some incredible champions and great personalities over the years and I’m honored to be part of the WTA.”


To mark its 40th anniversary, the WTA launched a multi-faceted marketing campaign, 40 LOVE, which showcases the pioneers of the game and the current stars who’ve contributed to the ongoing success of women’s professional tennis and the WTA. Print advertisements entitled ‘Forty Years of Breaking Barriers. Thank you for inspiring us’ and 30- and 60-second TV spots ‘Give’ and ‘Time Flies’ feature emotive archive footage of the game’s stars, all of whom have achieved the World No.1 ranking or won multiple Grand Slam titles.


Other elements of the season-long campaign include a digital program of online fan polls, Top 40 lists and images, and historic moments of the WTA; a global tour of the famed Billie Jean King Trophy (WTA Championships trophy) to WTA tournaments around the world; a commemorative WTA 40th anniversary book and video; unique content created for the WTA’s new TV magazine show and ePlayer; and a series of celebratory events and promotions throughout the year at WTA events and Grand Slams.


The legends and legendary moments of the WTA have been celebrated on wtatennis.com throughout the year and in the lead-up to the 40 LOVE gala, including profiles of all the World No.1s who will be at the event, and a ‘Top 5 Fan Favorite Moments’ vote, where fans write in with their favorite memories. The five most popular choices will be published – along with the many fan submissions – this week.


Fans can follow the 40 LOVE campaign throughout the year at wtatennis.com, facebook.com/wta and twitter.com/wta.


Steffi Graf (GER)


August 17, 1987
Martina Navratilova (USA)


July 10, 1978
Chris Evert (USA)


November 3, 1975
Martina Hingis (SUI)


March 31, 1997
Monica Seles (USA)


March 11, 1991
Serena Williams (USA)


July 8, 2002
Justine Henin (BEL)


October 20, 2003
Lindsay Davenport (USA)


October 12, 1998
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)


October 11, 2010
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)


January 30, 2012
Amélie Mauresmo (FRA)


September 13, 2004
Dinara Safina (RUS)


April 20, 2009
Tracy Austin (USA)


April 7, 1980
Maria Sharapova (RUS)


August 22, 2005
Kim Clijsters (BEL)


August 11, 2003
Jelena Jankovic (SRB)


August 11, 2008
Jennifer Capriati (USA)


October 15, 2001
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)


June 9, 2008
Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario (ESP)


February 6, 1995
Venus Williams (USA)


February 25, 2002
Evonne Goolagong (AUS)


April 26, 1976

*including week of July 8, 2013



1970 – Women’s professional tennis was boosted when nine players signed $1 contracts with World Tennis publications publisher Gladys Heldman to compete in a newly created Virginia Slims Series. The Original 9, as they were called, included King, Rosie Casals, Nancy Richey, Kerry Melville, Peaches Bartkowicz, Kristy Pigeon, Judy Dalton, Valerie Ziegenfuss and Julie Heldman.


1971 – The Virginia Slims Series debuted with 19 tournaments, with a total purse of $309,100 on offer in the United States.


1973 – King founded the Women’s Tennis Association, uniting all of women’s professional tennis in one tour. The WTA was borne out of a meeting held in a room at the Gloucester Hotel in London the week before Wimbledon; the US Open, for the first time, offered equal prize money to the men and women.


1976 – Colgate assumed sponsorship of the Tour events from April to November for four years; at the Palm Springs event, Chris Evert became the first female athlete to cross $1 million in career earnings.


1977 – New York’s Madison Square Garden hosted the season-ending Championships for the first time.


1980 – By now over 250 women were playing professionally all over the world in a tour consisting of 47 global events, offering a total of $7.2 million in prize money.


1984 – Navratilova received a $1-million bonus from the ITF for winning Roland Garros, completing the non-calendar year Grand Slam.


1988 – Graf became the second woman in the Open Era to complete a calendar year Grand Slam, and made it a ‘Golden Grand Slam’ by winning the Olympic title in Seoul.


1991 – Monica Seles became only the second player to pass the $2-million mark in season earnings and would better men’s leader Stefan Edberg in ’91 and ’92.


1997 – Martina Hingis becomes the youngest-ever World No.1, ending Graf’s record reign (for men and women) of 377 total weeks.


2001 – WTA prize money increased to $50 million in 63 events, including the first-ever Middle Eastern Tour events in Doha, Qatar, and Dubai, UAE.


2002 – The Williams sisters fulfilled their father’s prophecy by becoming the No.1 players in the world, first Venus in February, then Serena in July. Serena won three majors, defeating her older sister in each final.


2003 – The “Get In Touch With Your Feminine Side” marketing campaign was launched, the Tour’s most significant branding effort in its history; Serena Williams won the Australian Open to complete the “Serena Slam” while Kim Clijsters became the first female athlete to earn $4 million in season earnings.


2005 – Sony Ericsson became the Tour’s worldwide title sponsor in a landmark $88-million, six-year deal, the largest and most comprehensive sponsorship in the history of tennis and of women’s professional sport. As winner of the US Open Series, Clijsters earns double prize money for winning the US Open; her $2.2 million prize cheque was the single biggest payday in women’s sports and in any official tennis event, men’s or women’s.


2007 – The Board of Directors approved the Roadmap circuit reform, the most sweeping changes in our history which will include a shorter season, fan-friendly structure and 40 percent increase in Tour prize money (from 2009); the historic achievement of equal prize money at Roland Garros and Wimbledon meant that following a 30-year campaign that began with King, all four majors offered parity for the first time; Justine Henin became the first woman to earn $5 million in a single season.


2008 – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the WTA unveiled the largest advertising campaign in its history, with the “Looking For A Hero?” campaign launched on the eve of Wimbledon. The WTA’s Asia-Pacific headquarters opened in Beijing, China, complementing offices in St Petersburg, FL-USA and London, England. Dubai Duty Free announced an extension of its sponsorship through 2011. A record five women held the No.1 ranking during the season (Henin, Sharapova, Ivanovic, Jankovic, S.Williams), while Doha, Qatar, made a successful debut as host of the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships.


2009 - Stacey Allaster succeeded Larry Scott as chairman and CEO of the WTA Tour, while on court the historic Roadmap circuit reforms became a reality.


2010 – Serena Williams collected two more Grand Slam titles but it was Wozniacki who secured the year-end No.1 ranking after picking up six titles.


2011 – Off court, the WTA launches its global advertising campaign “Strong is Beautiful”, featuring 40 players and screened in more than 80 markets.


2012 – In April 2012, for the first time since the 1980s, all nine members of the trailblazing Original 9 were reunited during the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams became the first 2 women to surpass the $7 million prize money mark in a single season. WTA inks a four-year deal with Perform to broadcast more than 400 matches annually, the largest deal of its kind.


2013 - The WTA announces Singapore will host its crown-jewel season-ending championships from 2014 in a five-year record-breaking deal. Three WTA stars – Li Na, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams – featured in Forbes Magazine’s Top 100 list of highest paid international athletes, the only three women athletes featured on the list.