WTA Finals venue is confirmed and it is set to create a huge problem for players
The Mexican city of Cancun will host next month’s WTA Finals, with the belated decision confirm a venue for the event sparking criticism for the governing body of the women’s game.
It has taken until seven weeks before the event for the WTA to confirm a venue for its showpiece tournament featuring the top eight singles players and doubles pairs of the season.
Saudi Arabia had been the favourite but that prospect was criticised by leading figures Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova among others and ultimately the governing body has decided to head for less controversial waters.
Guadalajara stepped in to host the 2021 edition after a long-term, lucrative agreement with Shenzhen was disrupted by Covid and was widely praised for high attendance and the atmosphere generated.
The same could not be said for last year’s tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, which was also decided at late notice and played in front of sparse crowds.
Having initially said it intended to head back to Shenzhen this year, the WTA was instead left searching for another host, with the one-off agreement with Cancun indicating Saudi Arabia may not be off the table for the future.
The tournament will run from October 29 to November 5, and WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said: “I would like to extend my appreciation to the Cancun tournament organisers GS Sports Management for their commitment in hosting the WTA Finals this year.
“This edition of the WTA Finals will provide a fantastic experience for players and fans alike, offer a fitting finale for the 2023 Hologic WTA Tour, and enable us to continue building a strong future for women’s tennis.”
While not referencing Saudi Arabia directly, the statement added: “The WTA weighed a number of competitive bids through a thorough process, in close consultation with the WTA Players’ Council.
“Venue and partnership choices are based on multiple factors including player logistics, travel accessibility, venue capacity, and a commitment to supporting and showcasing women’s tennis.”
The choice of the Latin American city means players involved in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals immediately afterwards in Seville again face a very quick turnaround for a prestigious event on a different continent.
Questions have been asked over how players will play in Seville and then be in good shape to play in Cancun, with direct flight from the Spanish city to Mexico in short supply.
This deal with Cancun is just for 2023, so there remains a possibility that the WTA could expand their relationship with Saudi Arabia next year.
Yet the decision will be welcomed by those who has campaigned against increased involvement from Saudi Arabia and WTA chiefs will hope to attract bigger crowds than they managed for last year’s WTA Finals in Texas.
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, said, “I would like to extend my appreciation to the Cancun tournament organizers GS Sports Management for their commitment in hosting the WTA Finals this year.
“This edition of the WTA Finals will provide a fantastic experience for players and fans alike, offer a fitting finale for the 2023 Hologic WTA Tour and enable us to continue building a strong future for women’s tennis.”
Novak Djokovic concedes Roger Federer ‘was the far better player in every aspect’ in THAT final
Novak Djokovic on THAT Wimbledon final against Roger Federer.
Novak Djokovic opens up about Rafael Nadal ‘p*****g me off’, feeling intimidated and ‘calming the storm’
Fascinating insight from Novak Djokovic about his rivalry with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
John McEnroe’s sneaker argument with Travis Scott revealed by leaked zoom call
Travis Scott and John McEnroe got into on a zoom call.
Orange Bowl sees British teen Hannah Klugman make history
Hannah Klugman won the coveted Orange Bowl championship in Florida, solidifying her place among the sport’s most promising future prospects.
WATCH: Roger Federer makes dashing appearance in Moet and Chandon teaser
Roger Federer features in ‘The iconic moments with Moët & Chandon’.
The 6 players who won their first ATP title in 2023, featuring Ben Shelton and Arthur Fils
All six maiden titlists were unseeded and competing in their first ATP final.
What is Coco Gauff’s net worth after record-breaking earnings in 2023 and new deals with Rolex and UPS
Coco Gauff has sponsors lining up to get in on the action.
Marie Bouzkova hires Grand Slam winner as new coach in bid to join WTA elite
Marie Bouzkova has a new coach.
Incredible successes stun teenager with a bright future
Alina Korneeva has already turned heads on the WTA Tour.
Jannik Sinner, Ben Shelton or Chris Eubanks: Who has been the most improved player in 2023
Who has been the most improved player in 2023