Azarenka Gives Honest Verdict On WTA Finals Moving To Saudi Arabia

Azarenka Gives Honest Verdict On WTA Finals Moving To Saudi Arabia

by Erik Virostko

Victoria Azarenka is currently competing at the 2024 Charleston Open, and after her most recent win, she gave verdict on WTA's decision about the WTA Finals.

Starting from this season, the WTA Finals will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the move confirmed until the 2026 season. After its confirmation, many awaited the response from the players, and Azarenka was among the first to react.

The Belarusian is currently competing at the WTA 500 tournament in Charleston, where she reached the quarter-finals after beating Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Taylor Townsend.

After the match, the 34-year-old sat down with Steve Weissman from the Tennis Channel, and one of the questions was about the move to Saudi Arabia, which Azarenka, quite surprisingly, called "a good opportunity."

After WTA legends Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert wrote an open letter to the WTA, urging them not to accept the offer a few weeks ago, it was expected that many current players would agree with them, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

"I think that it's a good opportunity for us to inspire different regions in the world and I think that this is what we're really good at. We hope that with our global reach more kids pick up racquets, more kids get inspired to play tennis. That is at least my dream."

Instead of boycotting the move, Azarenka sees great opportunity behind it to inspire new generation of players in Saudi Arabia to pick up a tennis racquet, but also for the WTA Tour, and players competing on it, to improve financially, as the tournament will offer record-high prize money.

"I think that it's a good opportunity for us financially as well, to hopefully start more new programs for our tour, for our players."

Azarenka hopes to be among the eight players that qualify for the tournament, and while her current 13th position in the 2024 WTA Race wouldn't be sufficient for that, she's close enough to make it to the year-end event.

"And I think it's gonna be hopefully exciting for everyone to watch, and that's my goal to go there and qualify."


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