Saudi Arabia set to host next three WTA Finals

Saudi Arabia set to host next three WTA Finals

The WTA has announced that Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will be hosting the next three editions of the WTA Finals.

The move comes following a new agreement between the WTA and Saudi Tennis Federation and will offer record prize money of 15.25million euros (£12.9million) at this year's tournament.

Last year's event took place in Cancun, Mexico, amid speculation that the tournament would be held in Saudi Arabia, which continues to come under the spotlight for human rights violations.

This year's showpiece will take place between November 2-9 featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams.

The WTA said it assessed "multiple bids" from different regions and with further prize money increases happening in 2025 and 2026, it will "support broader investment" in the "future development and growth of women's tennis".

In January, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert voiced concerns about the WTA Finals being held in Saudi Arabia, stating in a comment piece for the Washington Post that hosting the tournament there would be a "significant step backward to the detriment not just of women's sport, but women".

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Her Royal Highness Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, responded to the comments, describing them as "outdated stereotypes and western-centric views of our culture".

Speaking about the new deal, WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon 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."

Saudi Arabia has previously hosted tennis tournaments and held the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah last November.

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