WTA Finals Officially Set To Be Held In Riyadh Until 2026

WTA Finals Officially Set To Be Held In Riyadh Until 2026

by Erik Virostko

The 2024 WTA Finals will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and so will be the following two editions in 2025 and 2026.

The discussion about the WTA Finals possibly being held in Saudi Arabia has been ongoing since last year, and while it seemed like a done deal already in 2023, it took one more year for the year-end competition to move to Riyadh.

Since the discussions started, WTA legends, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert opposed the move, writing a letter to the WTA and urging them to abandon plans to move the competition to Saudi Arabia, calling it "a step backward" for women's sport.

However, on April 4th, 2024, the WTA announced that the competition will be moving to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, until 2026, citing previous successful exhibition matches as one of the reasons for the decision.

The partnership is supposed to bring benefits to both the Saudi Tennis Federation and players, as they will share $15.25 million in prize money, which is the most in the history of the WTA Finals.

The WTA Chairman and CEO, Steve Simon, saw the move as an opportunity to make the sport more inclusive, and he sees the move as a positive step for the women's sport.

"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."

While there were talks about how certain players might feel when playing in the country, Arij Mutabagani, President of the Saudi Tennis Federation, assured everyone that players will "feel extremely welcome."

"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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