ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced today the addition of a new tournament, the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, a singles and doubles competition offering $USD 2.15 million in prize money, staged in southern China for the next five years, from 2015-19.
The tournament will be staged at the custom designed, state-of-the-art tennis center in Zhuhai, and will be played the week of November 2, 2015, Week 44 of the WTA calendar, the week after the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The 12-player singles field will consist of players ranked No.9 through 20 in the world, along with one wildcard in a four-group round-robin format. The winners of each respective group will advance to the single-elimination stage of the event. Meanwhile, the six-team doubles field will compete in a two-group round-robin with the winner of each group advancing to the final. The winner of the singles event will receive 700 WTA Ranking points.
“This brand new event combining great players, a fantastic new stadium, and the magnificent location of Zhuhai is a formula that will make the WTA Elite Trophy a success,” said WTA Chairman & CEO, Stacey Allaster. “Thanks to the commitment and vision of the Zhuhai government, Huafa Group and Ace Pro Group-APG, the fan experience will be exciting and inspirational, and we will showcase women’s tennis and this beautiful city to a global audience through broadcast, digital and social media.”
"Zhuhai is honored to host the WTA Elite Trophy starting in 2015,” said Zhuhai Vice Mayor, Lydia Long said. “We are deeply grateful for WTA's trust and support in making Zhuhai's dream of joining the WTA family a reality. The people of Zhuhai will warmly welcome the best women tennis players and tourists from around the world to this beautiful, romantic and dynamic city. Come and experience the well-equipped facilities,excellent service and the elegance of Zhuhai."
“We are looking forward to directing this event in the spectacular city of Zhuhai,” said Peter Johnston, currently the WTA’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific, who has been appointed by APG to the role of Tournament Director. “It promises to be an amazing player field featuring established WTA Superstars and WTA Rising Stars.”
Zhuhai is located on the southern coast of China close to Hong Kong and Macau, and last year was named "China's most livable city" by the Chinese Academy of Social Services.
The addition of this new event aligns with the WTA's strategic growth and development within the Asia-Pacific region. After opening a Beijing office in 2008, a close partnership with the Chinese government and Tennis Federations has allowed for the sport of tennis to thrive in the area with increased fan following and corporate sponsorship. In 2014, 17 WTA tournaments took place in Asia-Pacific.
The event in Zhuhai will replace the Tournament of Champions on the WTA 2015 Calendar.