2022 WTA Finals: When does it take place, players who have qualified, prize money, TV and streaming info
Edition No 51 of the WTA Finals (formerly known as the Virginia Slims Championships and the WTA Championships) is just around the corner and we give you a lowdown of the important things ahead of the event.
What is the WTA Finals and when does it take place?
The WTA Finals is the season-ending showpiece tournament in women’s tennis and only the eight best performing players based on the WTA Rankings over the year qualifies for the event.
The inaugural tournament was hosted in 1972 and went by the name Virginia Slims Championships before it was renamed the WTA Tour Championships and then the WTA Finals.
After the four Grand Slams, the WTA Finals offers the biggest prize money pool and points in women’s tennis (more on that below).
This year’s tournament will run from October 31 until November 7 with both the singles and doubles finals taking place on the final Sunday.
What about this year’s venue for the team event?
After five years in Singapore from 2014 to 2018, the WTA Finals has moved around quite a bit in recent years as Shenzhen in China hosted the 2019 edition before the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19. Guadalajara stepped in last year and many expected it to return to Mexico this year.
However, the season-ending event will return to the United States for the first time since 2005 as Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, has been handed the hosting rights.
The 14,000-seat multipurpose arena, which hosted concerns from Rod Steward, Kiss, Paul McCartney and Post Malone in recent years, will have a hard-court indoor court.
Tell us more about the format, please…
The top eight players in the world and the top eight doubles team over the season qualify for the event and they are split into two groups of four.
Each player/team then compete against the other three players/teams in her/their group and the top two in each group qualify for the semi-final. It will be first vs second in the last four. The winners advance to the finals.
Who are the eight players/teams who have qualified for the 2022 edition?
World No 1 Iga Swiatek was the first player to secure her place in the singles event on the back of winning the French Open, US Open and six other tournaments.
Ons Jabeur was next to confirm her spot as the Tunisian finished runner-up at the US Open (she didn’t get any points at Wimbledon) and also won the Madrid Open while Jessica Pegula qualified after reaching three Grand Slam quarter-finals and the final in Madrid.
Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari secured their tickets at the Guadalajara Open in Mexico.
Gauff and Pegula will compete in both the singles and the doubles as the American pair qualified for both events.
They will be joined in the doubles by top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos, Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko, Kudermetova and Elise Mertens, Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan, Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs, and Anna Danilina and Beatriz Haddad Maia.
The roll of honour so far…
Chris Evert won the maiden event in 1972 and she went on to win another three titles, but Martina Navratilova holds the record for most trophies as she won eight while Steffi Graf and Serena Williams won five each.
There have been six different winners since Williams won her final title in 2014 as Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova, Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina, Ashleigh Barty and Garbine Muguruza all lifted the trophy in recent years.
And there will be a new winner as none of this year’s competitors have won the title. Svitolina is currently on maternity leave, Barty has retired and Muguruza has failed to qualify.
Krejcikova and Siniakova are looking to win back-to-back titles in the doubles while no one will catch Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver in the near future as they won 13 and 10 titles respectively.
When does the draw take place?
The draw is set to take place a couple of days before the main event starts so either October 29 or 30.
What about points and prize money?
If a player wins the tournament undefeated then she will walk away with 1,500 ranking points.
Points are awarded as follow:
– 125 points for each match played during the round robin
– 125 points for each match won during the round robin
– No points are awarded for the semi-final
– The player who wins the tournament adds 750 points to those she picked up in the round-robin phase while the runner-up collects 330
The prize money for the season-ending event is $5,000,000 (about £4,4m).
Winning the tournament undefeated will earn you $1,680,000 in the singles and $360,000 in the doubles.
The participation fee works as follows in the singles:
3 matches = $110,000
2 matches = $90,000
1 match = $70,000
On top of that you will get $110,000 for every match that you win in the round-robin stage.
If you lose in the semi-final you will add $30,000 to the prize money you picked up in the group phase. The overall winner will collect a cheque of $1,240,000 plus the money she earned earlier in the tournament while the runner-up gets $420,000.
Participation fee for the doubles:
3 matches = $50,000
2 matches = $40,000
1 match = $30,000
No extra cash for reaching the semi-finals, but the winners get a $250,000 cheque and the runners-up walk away with $80,000.
Which TV channels and streaming services will broadcast the tournament?
Amazon Prime has the rights to broadcast WTA events in the United Kingdom and Ireland. New members can sign up for £7.99 a month, and are eligible for a free 30-day trial.
Tennis Channel covers the United States with a combination of TVA Sports, DAZN, TSN broadcasting WTA tournaments in Canada.
Europe and Australia are covered by beIN Sports, Setanta, Super Tennis, Tennis Channel and other local broadcasters while SuperSport has the exclusive rights for sub-Saharan Africa.
ESPN broadcasts WTA events in Latin and Central America and iQIYI, Now TV, DAZN and StarHub covers parts of Asia.
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