WTA Finals Singapore: Location & Venue
One of the most prestigious events in women’s tennis takes place from October 21st to 28th. The WTA Finals return to Singapore for the final time before making the switch to the Chinese city of Shenzhen for 2019.
Each year, the event assembles the world’s eight best singles players and the eight best doubles pairs from the women’s game and pits them against each other in a battle for glory and a share of the $7m prize pot. The Race to Singapore sees players awarded points to qualify for the tournament, giving an idea of who to back for anyone wanting to bet on the WTA Finals.
The WTA finals are as much a festival of entertainment as they are a tennis tournament, with fringe events and activities providing a backdrop to the week’s on-court excitement.
Singapore has proven to be a hugely successful venue in which to celebrate women’s tennis with large numbers of spectators and a boost to the game’s popularity in Asia.
WTA Finals, The Singapore Years
First staged in Florida in 1972, the WTA Finals have since been held in North America, Europe and Asia. Rotating the venue has proven to be a successful strategy for a tournament which still ranks a little below the four grand slams in terms of prestige.
A 17-year-old Chris Evert defeated Billy Jean King in the first-ever event. Since then the list of winners includes just about every great from the women’s game. Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams have each won the tournament several times each. Players will battle it out for the coveted Billie Jean King Singles Trophy and Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy.
The WTA Finals moved to Singapore in 2014 following a competitive bidding process. The tournament organisers promised to turn the event into one of the world’s biggest sports, lifestyle and entertainment festivals.
Attendances at the first finals to take place in Singapore were the highest they had been since the tournament was held in Madison Square Garden in New York in 2000 and global TV audiences have continued to rise. Serena Williams won her fifth title in the first year of Singapore staging but the winner of 39 major titles hasn’t actually won the WTA Finals since.
The Venue For The WTA Finals
This year the event returns to the Singapore Indoor Stadium for one last hurrah. The venue is in the town of Kallang and is part of a bigger complex, the Singapore Sports Hub. The 41,000 square metres of sporting and leisure facilities were built in 2014 and replaced the former Singapore National Stadium.
The Sports Hub was the world’s first sports facility to be funded by a public-private partnership and remains the largest project of its type.
With a new 55,000-seater national stadium at its heart, the complex also houses a 12,000 capacity indoor arena, an aquatic centre, a water sports centre, a children’s water park, a sports and Olympic museum and community facilities such as beach volleyball and basketball courts.
The site’s indoor arena has staged some of the biggest acts in the world including Justin Bieber, Elton John, The Stone Roses and Katy Perry in recent years.
To make the final year of the event being held in Singapore, there’s a number of events being held in the fringe festival. Tennis themed activities will take place at the Courtside-by-the-Bay with meet-and-greet events and photo opportunities for fans with their favourite players. A huge light and water show is also planned along with food and drink events and match screenings at the WTA Finals Fan Village in the Sports Hub.
The WTA Finals Courts
The Sports Hub boasts 14 tennis courts and is the training venue for national and youth teams in Singapore.
The Singapore Indoor Stadium is where the finals action will take place. With a retractable roof which doubles as a projector screen, the venue has an innovative cooling system to keep the temperature comfortable.
The lower tier of the bowl can be mechanically retracted to allow for different types of sport and the stadium is the largest dome structure in the world, beating the United States’ Cowboys Stadium by 37 metres.
WTA Finals - China Up Next
The Chinese city of Shenzhen will stage the WTA Finals from 2019. The Gemdale Corporation, one of China’s largest real estate developers, headed the bid to stage the event which includes building a state-of-the-art new stadium and doubling the prize money to $14 million for the successful singles winner.
The move to China culminates a decade-long strategy by the WTA to grow tennis and its brand in China and the Asia-Pacific region. The move is a long-term one with a 10-year deal in place to host the event. The WTA now put on eight tour tournaments in China.
Shenzhen has a population of 10 million people and has seen a huge growth in population and business in recent decades. The city in the south-east of China is one of the fastest growing in the world and while there has been concern about attendances at some Chinese tennis events, the WTA clearly feel that such a populous city will guarantee large crowds.
Bet UK's will have the latest WTA Finals news in the lead up to the tournament on our online sports betting blog. Head over to our online sportsbook to get the latest tennis betting odds ahead of the 2018 WTA Finals.
*All odds from Bet UK's online betting correct at the time of writing
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