SportsSaudi Arabia To Host Star-Studded WTA Finals From 2024-2026

Saudi Arabia To Host Star-Studded WTA Finals From 2024-2026

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April 4, (THEWILL)- The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), announced on Thursday, that Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh will host the prestigious WTA Finals from 2024 to 2026. This decision marks Saudi Arabia’s latest foray into the world of professional tennis and underscores the nation’s growing influence in global sports.

The WTA Finals, considered the pinnacle event of the women’s tennis calendar, will take place in Riyadh from November 2 – 9 each year. The tournament features the top eight singles players and doubles teams, showcasing the best talents in the sport. Notably, this year’s event will offer a record-breaking prize money of $15.25 million, with further increases planned for 2025 and 2026.

WTA CEO Steve Simon was enthusiastic about the partnership. He said: “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.” Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud echoed this sentiment, highlighting the potential to inspire young girls and women in the country.

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However, the decision has expectedly faced criticism from human rights advocates and tennis legends like Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who have raised concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the potential risks for players, fans and journalists attending the event. Minky Worden of Human Rights Watch called for credible measures to address these risks as part of the tournament preparation.

The WTA Finals’ move to Saudi Arabia marks a significant shift from its previous home in Shenzhen, China, where it was originally scheduled to be held for a decade. The COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of WTA operations in China due to concerns over the treatment of Peng Shuai prompted this relocation.

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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

Jude Obafemi, THEWILLhttps://thewillnews.com
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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