By Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
St. Petersburg, FL, USA, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 — The 2014 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Championships will be making its way to Singapore. After three years in Istanbul, Singapore will be home to the world-class competition for five years after edging out the other finalists, Tianjin, China and Monterrey, Mexico.
The Singapore Indoor Stadium will host the 2014 WTA Championships, which will have a record US$6.5 million prize money. For the first time, the 2014 Championships will feature both the top 8 singles players and doubles teams. Previously, only four doubles teams are included.
“This is the largest and most significant WTA Championships partnership in our history,” said Stacey Allaster, chairman of the WTA. “It’s a record-breaker.”
Previous winners of the championships have also reacted positively to the announcement. Maria Sharapova believes that bringing the event to Singapore is a “great way to continue to grow the sport”. Her main rival, Serena Williams, also shares her sentiment.
“I’ve been fortunate to qualify for WTA Championships in five different cities during my career, and I know that our new partners in Singapore and the fans of Singapore will help take our WTA Championships to new heights,” said defending and three-time singles champion, Serena Williams.
Singapore will be the ninth city to host the WTA Championships and with its winning bid, marks a shift in the focus of the WTA towards Asia Pacific. In 2014, there will be 23 WTA events staged in Asia-Pacific – more than any other region in the world.
World Sport Group (WSG), supported by the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Tourism Board, is the organisation behind the winning bid. Mr Lim Teck Yin, chief executive officer of the Singapore Sports Council, believes that the event will benefit not just Singapore but the region.
“We believe this event will inspire our athletes at home and those in the region, as well as engage the community at our new Sports Hub,” said Mr Lim. “The WTA Championships will herald a new phase of tennis development in Singapore.”