Riyadh selected as the host of WTA Finals from 2024-2026

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will host the next three editions of the WTA Finals from 2024-2026, following the announcement Thursday of a new agreement between the WTA and the Saudi Tennis Federation. The 2024 season-ending Finals will take place between November 2-9, featuring the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams in the Race to the WTA Finals.

The WTA selected Riyadh following a comprehensive evaluation process over several months, which has included assessment of multiple bids from different regions and engagement with players. All prospective hosts were considered against a clear set of criteria:

  • The ability to deliver and fund a world-class event for players and fans
  • Support for the WTA’s ambition for significant prize money growth
  • The strength of their commitment to growing the WTA Finals and the sport over time

The agreement with the Saudi Tennis Federation will offer record prize money of $15.25 million at the WTA Finals in 2024 with further increases in 2025 and 2026. The partnership will also support broader investment in the future development and growth of women’s tennis, including the WTA’s plans to grow the global fanbase for women’s tennis through increased investment in marketing, digital and fan engagement.

The choice of Riyadh to host the WTA Finals builds on the WTA’s presence of more than 20 years in the Middle East. The partnership comes at a time of significant growth of sport in Saudi Arabia, with overall participation levels more than tripling since 2015 to almost 50%. The number of sporting federations has also increased threefold during this time, with the Saudi Tennis Federation being one example of the growth underway.

The Saudi Tennis Federation hosted the country’s first official professional tennis tournament in November 2023 with the Next Gen ATP Finals taking place in Jeddah, while there have been a number of exhibition tournaments and matches in recent years including the Diriyah Tennis Cup in 2019 and 2022, and the Riyadh Season Tennis Cup 2023 featuring the WTA World No. 2 and No.6, Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur.

At a grassroots level, tennis is undergoing rapid development in Saudi Arabia, where the number of clubs has more than doubled in the last five years and the sport is played equally by girls and boys in schools. In 2023, an estimated 30,000 school children took their first steps in tennis and plans are in place to introduce the game to nearly 60,000 girls and boys in 2024.

In parallel with the hosting of the WTA Finals in Riyadh, the WTA and the Saudi Tennis Federation will work together to develop multi-year initiatives to help drive continued progress and in particular to apply the WTA’s expertise and capabilities to engage and inspire more girls and boys to participate in tennis. These initiatives will further expand the impact of the programs run by the WTA’s philanthropic arm, the WTA Foundation, and will be delivered with the active participation of leading WTA players over the term of the partnership. Further details will be communicated closer to the start of the 2024 Finals.

Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, 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. 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.”

Marina Storti, CEO of WTA Ventures, the WTA’s commercial division, added: “This multi-year partnership expands the WTA’s presence in the Middle East and brings us to a country with huge potential for growth, as well as supporting our ambitious plans to accelerate the global development and progress of women’s tennis. We’re looking forward to working with the Saudi Tennis Federation over the coming years to grow the WTA Finals, create more fans, and inspire more people to play our brilliant sport.”

Arij Mutabagani, President of the Saudi Tennis Federation and the first elected female president of any Saudi Arabian sports federation, said: “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. 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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