October 10, 2015

BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director and COO Steve Simon New CEO of the WTA

Volunteers are celebrated before the start of the Women's Singles Final in Indian Wells, California on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Photo by Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open)

(October 5, 2015) On Monday, the Board of Directors of the Women’s Tennis Association announced a unanimous decision naming Steve Simon, the Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, as the new CEO of the women’s tour. Simon will begin his new position immediately and leave his current post at the end of November.

Simon joined the tournament in 1989 in a sponsorship sales role after working with adidas for six years. He became Tournament Director and COO in 2004. At the end of the 2013 tournament, he and the CEO oversaw the vast expansion of Indian Wells.

“I am exceptionally grateful to both Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore for the opportunity they gave me more than 25 years ago to work at the BNP Paribas Open,” said Simon through a news release. “I have cherished my time here, and everyone involved with the event – staff, volunteers, players, officials and many more – who have made this event into the exceptional tournament it has become. I am humbled and excited about the opportunity, and leave the tournament knowing that the team in place, under the guidance of Moore and owner Larry Ellison, will continue to excel and keep the BNP Paribas Open as one of the best events in the world.”

“Steve Simon, with his successful career leading one of tennis’ most prestigious tournaments, is the perfect person to run the WTA,” the WTA Board said in a statement. “Steve produced results, pursued excellence and he kept innovating, making the fan experience even better. He has a very clear vision for the sport and is held in high regard by all.”

Simon replaces Stacey Allaster who announced her resignation on September 22.


WTA CEO Stacey Allaster Announces Retirement


(September 22, 2015) The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced the transition of its long-term chair and CEO, Stacey Allaster, effective October 2, 2015. Allaster joined the WTA in January 2006 as its president and in July 2009 was promoted to chair and CEO.

Allaster: “It’s been a privilege to lead the organization that Billie Jean King founded and to have worked with the world’s best female athletes, dedicated tournament promoters and passionate and professional WTA team members. For 25 years I have dedicated my professional life to the sport and I’m proud of the work I leave behind.”

“But the recent loss of my brother-in-law and the ATP’s CEO, Brad Drewett, has provided a personal wake-up call about life, family and priorities and it is time for me to shift some time and energy that way. When I joined the WTA my goal was to leave the organization on a stronger footing and I feel a humble sense of pride in what we have all accomplished here. I have focused on what it means to be a champion and I have tried to be a strong role model for women to encourage success in the sports industry.” Official statement from the WTA below:

WTA Statement

More to follow……



WTA Sets Up 10 Year Media Rights Deal


(December 10, 2014) — The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Board of Directors approved a  10 year media agreement of more than US$525 million with incumbent partner, PERFORM.  This extended partnership is the largest live media rights and production venture in the history of the WTA and in women’s sports.


For the first time as part of a major strategic move for the WTA, the aggregation and centralization of all WTA tournament media rights will deliver every WTA event across linear, digital and over-the-top (OTT) offerings.  Ultimately, this will improve the fan experience by making it easier to consistently follow favorite WTA players throughout the year.


Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO, said, “This is a game-changing and historic moment for our fans and for women’s sport. Our new broadcast strategy to produce all 2000 main draw singles matches in partnership with PERFORM will deliver exponential global exposure for our players, tournaments and partners.”

The agreement introduces WTA Media, a joint endeavor between both organizations which will deliver unprecedented premium content to tennis fans worldwide.  WTA Media, together with tournaments, will produce all main draw singles matches and the semifinals and finals of all doubles matches from 2017. Furthermore, WTA Media will increase its production of news content by 40 percent. It will also deliver additional magazine shows and significant off-court content to support the WTA’s mobile, digital and social media strategy. WTA Media will provide unprecedented access to fans with more content on and off the court.

“We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful partnership with the WTA.  We are strong believers in the exceptional sport entertainment value of the WTA and are committed to driving the value for all WTA members and partners. This deal also delivers maximum exposure to the WTA’s global fans on multiple platforms. This is a ground-breaking and innovative partnership with the WTA and is also a major first step in a significant 10 year growth plan for PERFORM,” said PERFORM’s Joint-CEO, Simon Denyer.

“The remarkable growth by PERFORM in less than ten years as well as the company’s ambitious direction provides a perfect framework for our invaluable partnership.  We are extremely excited by a shared vision of delivering the quality and quantity content our fans deserve. PERFORM’s unprecedented investment in the WTA signals a new era – not only for women’s tennis but also for women’s professional sports the world around,” concluded Allaster.


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.


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