2018 WTA Finals Singapore: Facts & Figures
The 2018 WTA Finals - which takes place from Sunday 21st October to Sunday 28th October in Singapore - represents the climax of the 2018 WTA Tour; bringing together the top-ranked eight women in world tennis.
In the four and a half decades since the tournament started as the Virginia Slims Championships in 1972, it has cemented a reputation as the de facto 'fifth Grand Slam' of women's tennis. If the prestige of winning wasn't enough, the prize money and rankings points on offer can make the WTA Finals a competition which is fiercely fought out.
The WTA Finals in Numbers
9 - The number of cities that have hosted the WTA finals. New York and Los Angeles are the only cities that the Finals have returned to in non-consecutive years.
8 - The most times won by a single player, Martina Navratilova, who also came second a record 6 times.
$7m - The prize money available at the 2017 finals, with the Champion picking up a cool $1.75m.
8 - The number of players competing in this year’s singles finals.
133,000 - The number of fans who attended the WTA Finals tournament in 2017.
$2,140 - The Cost of the most expensive 2018 Grand Final ticket with Racket Club hospitality package.
22 - The total number of matches (including singles and doubles) to be played at the 2018 Finals.
450 - The BHP of the Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet gifted to the player who leads the ‘Porsche Race to Singapore’ leaderboard prior to the tournament.
2018 WTA Finals - Top Contenders
The top two players in the WTA rankings were the first to qualify for the event - Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber. Romania's Halep has enjoyed the best year of her career in 2018; finally breaking her Grand Slam duck with a win at the French Open and reaching the final of the Australian Open, in addition to two other tournament wins.
Halep's proficiency on hard courts, coupled with her recent form, should stand her in good stead when it comes to the tour finale, and she’ll certainly attract a lot of backing from tennis betting fans. Halep will be aiming to go one better than her 2014 WTA Finals performance, when she lost to Serena Williams in the final in straight sets.
German Kerber is the current Wimbledon Women’s champion, and her consistent form throughout the year suggests that the three-time Grand Slam winner will be posing a formidable threat to the rest of the field.
Among the other players expected to qualify for the event are Japan's Naomi Osaka and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, winners of 2018's other Grand Slams - the US Open in New York and Australian Open in Melbourne respectively - both these two competitors have proved their ability on the hard courts and look likely to feature prominently at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Wozniacki has the extra incentive of being the current WTA Finals champion, and will hope to emulate Serena Williams by defending the crown successfully. Petra Kvitová, Elina Svitolina, Sloane Stephens and Karolína Plíšková are other players who could feature prominently.
What's The Format of the WTA Finals?
The WTA Finals consists of both a singles and doubles competition. The eight players in the singles draw will be split into two groups of four, and after a round robin format in which everyone in the group plays each other, before the top two in each group progress to the semi finals.
The doubles event will be a straight knock out, consisting of the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final.
WTA Finals Prize Money & Rankings Points
With prize money to the tune of $7 million on offer, the largest for any WTA event outside the majors, the incentives are clear for the women doing battle in Singapore.
The maximum of 1,500 rankings points for the winner of the Billie Jean Trophy is also another reason why the WTA Finals will be so keenly contested. In fact, there are 250 rankings points on offer for every round robin match - so every point, every game and every set matters!
The Rich Heritage of the WTA Finals
The WTA Finals event began as the Virginia Slims Championships in sunny Florida, as a climax to a series of events on the American circuit. The event moved around the States from Florida to New York, then California, before returning to NYC's iconic Madison Square Garden, where it remained until 2000.
The WTA Finals have taken an international turn since, being held in Germany, Spain, Qatar, Turkey, as well as the USA, before first coming to Singapore in 2014. The South-East Asian city was one of 43 which applied to host the event, underlining the strength of Singapore as a truly international sporting city capable of holding major sporting showpieces.
So who has tasted glory the most in the WTA Finals? There are many players who have shone over the years, but one name which stands above all others is Martina Navratilova, who won the title an incredible eight times from 1978 to 1986.
This queen of the women's game made it to the final of the tournament on an amazing 13 occasions, and in many ways was an influential precursor to the ultra-professionalism which characterized the women's game from the 1990s onwards.
Since the 'Navratilova Era', the women who have managed multiple WTA Finals wins represent the very cream of the female game. They include; the 22 time Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf; her early 1990s nemesis Monica Seles; the technically adept Justine Henin; Henin's countrywoman, the athletic Kim Clijsters; and the woman who has dominated 21st Century tennis; Serena Williams.
Which of the current generation is capable of stepping up to the level of the ladies name checked above? One thing is certain - the WTA Finals can be an important milestone on the path to legendary status.
Bet UK will be covering the 2018 WTA Finals at our sports betting blog, as well as covering the latest sports news throughout the year. Bet UK's online betting feature has the latest tennis betting odds for the WTA Finals, along with odds for all tennis tournaments.
*All odds correct from Bet UK's online betting at the time of writing
If you are placing any bets on the 2018 WTA Finals, please gamble responsibly and remember that when the fun stops, stop.