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Asia

Riyadh set to host next three editions of WTA Finals

Featured image credit: WTA Finals/Riyadh

Featured image credit: WTA Finals/Riyadh

Riyadh is set to host the next three editions of the WTA Finals from 2024-26, following a new agreement between the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Saudi Tennis Federation. 

The 2024 season-ending Finals event will take place from November 2-9 and will feature the top eight singles players and doubles teams. 

The Saudi Arabian capital was selected as host following a comprehensive evaluation process, with the Saudi Tennis Federation offering a record prize money of $15.25m (£12m/€14m) at the WTA Finals in 2024. The prize fund will increase for 2025 and 2026. 

The Saudi Tennis Federation hosted the country’s first official professional tennis tournament in November last year, with the Next Gen ATP Finals taking place in Jeddah. However, the country has previously held a number of exhibition tournaments and matches over recent years. 

“Bringing the WTA Finals to Riyadh is an exciting new opportunity for us and a positive step for the long-term growth of women’s tennis as a global and inclusive sport,” said Steve Simon, WTA chairman and chief executive. 

“We’ve been impressed by the commitment shown by the Saudi Tennis Federation to grow the sport at all levels, and we have no doubt that players and fans can look forward to a world-class event in Riyadh as the finale to the 2024, 2025 and 2026 seasons.”

The WTA and the Saudi Tennis Federation will also develop multi-year initiatives to continue inspiring more girls and boys to participate in the sport. 

“Hosting the WTA Finals is absolutely huge for the future of tennis in Saudi Arabia and growing sport in general, especially amongst our young girls. And that’s entirely our focus, to inspire future generations of players and celebrate women’s tennis,” added Arij Mutabagani, president of the Saudi Tennis Federation and the first elected female president of any Saudi Arabian sports federation. 

“We want to help them to believe that they too belong on centre court, as seeing is believing. Through the tournament we have the potential to power the dreams of millions of young people who are looking to a bright future and a world of new opportunities.

“Everyone will be made to feel extremely welcome. Our country is moving forward. Much has been achieved already and many historic steps taken by women in all sectors in recent years, with sport driving much of the progress across our entire society. So, we have real momentum and hosting the world’s best tennis players in Riyadh will only accelerate our transformation and help grow the game further.”

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