Women's Tennis Association


Women's Tennis Association
Women's Tennis Association
WTA
100
Sport Professional tennis
Formation date 1973
Chairman Stacey Allaster
Chief Exec Stacey Allaster
Official website
wtatennis.com

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA), founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King, is the principal organizing body of Women's Professional Tennis. It governs the WTA Tour which is the worldwide professional tennis tour for women. Its counterpart organization in the men's professional game is the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Jerry Diamond of San Francisco became Executive Director of the WTA in 1974 and remained until 1985. He is considered the creator the Women's Point System for ranking players.

The Women's Tennis Association can trace its origins back to Houston, Texas with the inaugural Virginia Slims tournament, arranged by Gladys Heldman, and held on 23 September 1970. Rosie Casals won this first event. The WTA's corporate headquarters is in St. Petersburg, Florida. The European headquarters is in London, and the Asia-Pacific headquarters is in Beijing.

Contents

History

The Open Era began in 1968. The first open tournament was the British Hard Court Championships in Bournemouth. At the first Open Wimbledon the prize fund difference was 2.5:1 in favour of men. Billie Jean King won £750 for taking the title while Rod Laver won £2,000. The total purses of both competitions were 14,800 for men and 5,680 for women. Confusion also reigned as no one knew how many open tournaments there were supposed to be. The tournaments who did not want to provide prize money eventually faded out of the calendar, including the Eastern Grass Court circuit with stops at Merion Cricket Club and Essex county club.

There were also two professional troupes in existence at the start of the Open Era: World Championship Tennis (WCT), which was men only, and the National Tennis League (NTL). Anne Jones, Rosie Casals, Francoise Durr, and Billie Jean King joined NTL. King was paid $40,000 a year, Jones was paid $25,000, and Casals and Durr were paid $20,000 each. The group played established tournaments such as the US Open and Wimbledon. But the group also organised their own tournaments playing in the south of France for two months. The International Tennis Federation(ITF) then imposed several sanctions on the Group. The women were not allowed to play in the Whiteman Cup in 1968 and 1969. The USTLA refused to include Casals and King in their rankings for these years.

By the 1970s the pay, which had been 2.5:1 ratio between men and women, increased. As King states “Promoters were making more money. Male tennis players were making more money. Everybody was making more money except the women.” In 1969, ratios of 5:1 in terms of pay between men and women were common at smaller tournaments. By 1970 these figures ballooned to 8:1 and even 12:1. Larry king quote.[citation needed]

In 1970 Margaret Court won the Grand Slam and only received a $15,000 bonus, whereas the men could achieve up to $1 million. The low point in the women’s pay suffering came before the US Open in 1970. The Pacific Southwest Championships directed by Jack Kramer, had announced a 12:1 ratio in the prize money difference between what males and females would win. The tournament would not take place until after the US Open. Several players contacted Gladys Heldman, publisher of World Tennis Magazine, and stated that they wanted to boycott the event. While she advised against it, she then created the 1970 Houston Women's Invitation for nine women players.

The Original Nine women from the Houston event, along with Heldman, then created their own tour which would later absorb the ILTF's Women's Grand Prix circuit, and eventually become the WTA Tour. The circuit was composed of 19 tournaments, all based in the United States (one in Puerto Rico),[1] and prize money totalled $309,100.[2]

Formation of the Virginia Slims Circuit resulted in part from changes that tennis was undergoing at the time and from the way prize moneys were distributed. During the first two years of the Open Era a large number of male players began playing professionally, and the tournaments in which they competed, often men's and women's combined events, attracted increased investment. The International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) began dropping several women's competitions from the tournaments it presided over. For example, in 1970, the ILTF sanctioned 15 men-only tournaments, all of which had previously been combined events.[3]

The WTA was founded at a meeting organized by Billie Jean King, a week before the 1973 Wimbledon Championships. This meeting, held at Gloucester Hotel in London, united all of women's professional tennis into one tour. In 1975, the WTA increased its financial stature by signing a television broadcast contract with CBS, the first in the WTA's history. Further financial developments ensued. In 1976, Colgate assumed sponsorship of the WTA Tour from April to November. In 1979, Avon replaced Virginia Slims as the sponsor of the winter circuit, and in its first year offered the largest prize fund for a single tournament, $100,000 for the Avon Championships, in the WTA Tour's history.[2] The Colgate Series, renamed the Toyota Series in 1981, included tournaments from the across the world, whereas the Avon sponsored events took place solely in the U.S. The two circuits merged beginning with the 1983 season, when Virginia Slims returned to take full sponsorship rights of the WTA Tour. Every tournament under the administration of the WTA now became part of the Virginia Slims World Championships Series.[1][2]

The WTA Tour continued to expand during these years. By 1980, over 250 women were playing professionally, and the tour consisted of 47 global events, offering a total of $7.2 million in prize money. These increased financial opportunities allowed for groundbreaking developments not only in tennis, but across women's sports. In 1971, King became the first female athlete to surpass $100,000 in earnings for a single year.[1][4]

  • Chris Evert became the female athlete to win over $1,000,000 in career earnings in 1976. In 1982, Martina Navratilova became the first to win over $1,000,000 in a single year. Navratilova's single year earnings exceeded $2 million in 1984. In 1997, Martina Hingis became the first to earn over $3 million during a single year. In 2003, Kim Clijsters surpassed $4 million in earnings for a single year. In 2006, the WTA and players such as Venus Williams pushed for equal prize money to men at both the French Open and Wimbledon. Both of these Grand Slam events relented in 2007 and awarded equal money for the first time. This enabled Justine Henin, who won the French Open in 2007, to earn over $5 million that year, becoming the first woman in sports to do this.[5]
  • In 2009, Serena Williams beat that by earning a record of over $6.5 million in a single year.
  • Larry Scott became Chairman and CEO of the WTA on April 16, 2003.[6] While at the WTA, Scott put together the largest sponsorship in the history of women's athletics, a six-year, $88-million sponsorship deal with Sony Ericsson.[6][7][8] On March 24, 2009, Scott announced that he was resigning as WTA chief in order to take up a new position as the Commissioner of the Pacific-10 Conference on July 1, 2009.[7][8][9] On July 13, 2009, WTA Tour announced the appointment of Stacey Allaster, the Tour's President since 2006, as the new Chairman and CEO of the WTA.[10]

Tournament categories

  • The current tournament structure was introduced in 2009. Premier Tournaments replaced the previous Tier I and Tier II events, and International Tournaments replaced Tier III and IV events.
  1. Grand Slam tournaments (4)
  2. Year-ending championships (WTA Tour Championships)
  3. Premier tournaments:
    1. Premier Mandatory: Four combined tournaments with male professional players, with U.S.$4.5 million in equal prize money for men and women. These tournaments are being held in Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, Madrid, and Beijing.
    2. Premier Five: Five $2 million events in Dubai, Rome, Cincinnati, Toronto / Montreal, and Tokyo
    3. Premier: Ten events with prize money from U.S.$600,000 to U.S.$1 million.
  4. International tournaments There are 31 tournaments, with a prize money for every event at U.S.$220,000, except for the year-ending Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, which has prize money of U.S.$600,000.

Ranking points are also available at tournaments on the ITF Women's Circuit organised by the International Tennis Federation, which comprises several hundred tournaments each year with prize funds ranging from U.S. $10,000 to U.S. $100,000, and at the Olympic Games.

Players’ Council

2011 Players’ Council[11]

Ranking method

Description W F SF QF R16 R32 R64 R128 QLFR Q3 Q2 Q1
Grand Slam (S) 2000 1400 900 500 280 160 100 5 60 50 40 2
Grand Slam (D) 2000 1400 900 500 280 160 5 - 48 - - -
WTA Tour Championships (S) +450 +360 (230 for each round robin match won
70 for each round robin match lost)
- - -
WTA Tour Championships (D) 1500 1050 690 - - - - - - - - -
Premier Mandatory (96S) 1000 700 450 250 140 80 50 5 30 - 20 1
Premier Mandatory (64S) 1000 700 450 250 140 80 5 - 30 - 20 1
Premier Mandatory (28/32D) 1000 700 450 250 140 5 - - - - - -
Premier 5 (56S) 900 620 395 225 125 70 1 - 30 - 20 1
Premier 5 (28D) 900 620 395 225 125 1 - - - - - -
Premier (56S) 470 320 200 120 60 40 1 - 12 - 8 1
Premier (32S) 470 320 200 120 60 1 - - 20 12 8 1
Premier (16D) 470 320 200 120 1 - - - - - - -
Commonwealth Bank
Tournament of Champions
375 255 180(3rd)
165(4th)
75 - - - - - - - -
International (56S) 280 200 130 70 30 15 1 - 10 - 6 1
International (32S) 280 200 130 70 30 1 - - 16 10 6 1
International (16D) 280 200 130 70 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $100,000 + H(32) 150 110 80 40 20 1 - - 6 4 1 -
ITF $100,000 + H(16) 150 110 80 40 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $100,000 (32) 140 100 70 36 18 1 - - 6 4 1 -
ITF $100,000 (16) 140 100 70 36 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $75,000 + H(32) 130 90 58 32 16 1 - - 6 4 1 -
ITF $75,000 + H(16) 130 90 58 32 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $75,000 (32) 110 78 50 30 14 1 - - 6 4 1 -
ITF $75,000 (16) 110 78 50 30 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $50,000 + H(32) 90 64 40 24 12 1 - - 6 4 1 -
ITF $50,000 + H(16) 90 64 40 24 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $50,000 (32) 70 50 32 18 10 1 - - 6 4 1 -
ITF $50,000 (16) 70 50 32 18 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $25,000 (32) 50 34 24 14 8 1 - - 1 - - -
ITF $25,000 (16) 50 34 24 14 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $10,000 (32) 12 8 6 4 1 - - - - - - -
ITF $10,000 (16) 12 8 6 1 0 - - - - - - -

"+H" indicates that Hospitality is provided.

WTA Rankings

These lists are based on the WTA Rankings.[12][13]

WTA Rankings (Singles), as of October 31, 2011[14]
# Player Points Prev Move
1  Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 7,485 1 steady =
2  Petra Kvitová (CZE) 7,370 3 increase 1
3  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6,520 4 increase 1
4  Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6,510 2 decrease 2
5  Li Na (CHN) 5,720 5 steady =
6  Samantha Stosur (AUS) 5,585 7 increase 1
7  Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 5,435 6 decrease 1
8  Agnieszka Radwańska (POL) 5,250 8 steady =
9  Marion Bartoli (FRA) 4,710 9 steady =
10  Andrea Petkovic (GER) 4,580 10 steady =
11  Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 3,900 11 steady =
12  Serena Williams (USA) 3,180 12 steady =
13  Kim Clijsters (BEL) 3.161 13 steady =
14  Jelena Janković (SRB) 3,115 14 steady =
15  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 2,865 15 steady =
16  Peng Shuai (CHN) 2,825 16 steady =
17  Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 2,755 17 steady =
18  Sabine Lisicki (GER) 2,724 18 steady =
19  Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 2,606 19 steady =
20  Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 2,490 20 steady =
WTA Rankings (Doubles), as of October 31, 2011[15]
# Player Points Prev Move
1  Liezel Huber (USA) 9,970 1 steady =
2  Kveta Peschke (CZE) 8,680 2 steady =
2  Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) 8,680 2 steady =
4  Lisa Raymond (USA) 8,295 4 steady =
5  Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6,805 6 increase 1
6  Vania King (USA) 6,725 7 increase 1
7  Maria Kirilenko (RUS) 6,495 5 decrease 2
8  Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 6,135 8 steady =
9  Gisela Dulko (ARG) 6,135 9 steady =
10  Elena Vesnina (RUS) 5,225 10 steady =
11  Sania Mirza (IND) 5,205 11 steady =
12  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 5,159 12 steady =
13  Nadia Petrova (RUS) 4,860 13 steady =
14  Andrea Hlaváčková (CZE) 4,205 14 steady =
15  Lucie Hradecká (CZE) 4,175 15 steady =
16  Agnieszka Radwańska (POL) 3,521 16 steady =
17  Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 3,490 17 steady =
18  Daniela Hantuchová (SVK) 3,361 18 steady =
19  Meghann Shaughnessy (USA) 3,350 19 steady =
20  María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 3,215 20 steady =

Global Advisory Council Members

  • Darcy Antonellis, President, Technical Operations Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
  • Sir Richard Branson, Chairman & Founder, Virgin Group, Ltd.
  • Karen Elliott House, Former Publisher, Wall Street Journal
  • Scott Mead, President & Founder Partner, Richmond Park Partners
  • Bert Nordberg, President, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications
  • Kimberly A. Williams, Chief Operating Officer, NFL Network, National Football League
  • Jan Soderstrom, Chief Marketing Officer, SunPower Corporation
  • Wick Simmons, Former Chairman, International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Arnon Milchan, Owner & Founder, Regency Enterprises
  • Edward Meyer, President & Founding Partner, Ocean Road Advisors
  • Jay Lorsch, Louis E. Kirstein Professor, Human Relations, Harvard Business School
  • Billie Jean King, Co-Founder, World TeamTennis, Founder, WTA Tour
  • Claude de Jouvencel, Member, Supervisory Council of Groupe Marnier-Lapostolle (Grand Marnier), Chairman, Wine & Spirits Association of France (FEVS)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "WTA Tour history". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20080529060754/http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/global/includes/TrackIt.asp?file=http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/global/pdfs/events/2008/tournamentfinals.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Tour Story". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Archived from the original on 2008-05-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20080529020816/http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/thewtatour/stories/tourstory.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  3. ^ Joanne Lannin. "Fighting for Equality". Billie Jean King: Tennis Trailblazer. Lerner Publications. p. 57. ISBN 082254959X. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=f957-IG2HckC&printsec=frontcover&dq=&cad=0#PPA57,M1. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Billie Jean King: Founder, Leader, Legend". Women's Sports Foundation. http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/Content/Articles/About%20WSF/B/Billie%20Jean%20King%20Founder%20Leader%20Legend.aspx. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Davenport Tops All-Time Prize Money List". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). 2007-01-14. http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/newsroom/stories/?ContentID=1971. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Management Bios: Larry Scott - Chairman & CEO". Women's Tennis Association. http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/3/thewtatour/managementbios/larryscott/. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  7. ^ a b Dufresne, Chris (2009-03-25). "Larry Scott to head Pac-10 Conference". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-pac-ten-commissioner25-2009mar25,0,4982011.story. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  8. ^ a b Condotta, Bob (2009-03-24). "Larry Scott named Pac-10 commissioner". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2008918038_pac25.html. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  9. ^ "Scott leaves WTA role to be Pac-10 commish". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 2009-03-25. http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/25/1s25digest232920/?zIndex=72162. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  10. ^ "Allaster Is New Chairman and CEO". Women's Tennis Association. 2009-07-13. http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/page/LatestNews/Read/0,,12781~1720996,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  11. ^ "2011 WTA Media Guide". Women's Tennis Association (WTA). http://www.wtatennis.com/SEWTATour-Archive/Archive/MediaInfo/mediaguide2011.pdf. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  12. ^ "Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings:Singles". Women's Tennis Association. http://www.wtatennis.com/page/RankingsSingles/0,,12781~0~1~100,00.html. 
  13. ^ "Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings:Doubles". Women's Tennis Association. http://www.wtatennis.com/page/RankingsDoubles/0,,12781~0~1~100,00.html. 
  14. ^ "Current WTA Rankings (singles)". wtatour.com. WTA Tour, Inc.. http://www.wtatour.com/page/RankingsSingles/0,,12781~0~1~100,00.html. 
  15. ^ "Current WTA Rankings (doubles)". wtatour.com. WTA Tour, Inc.. http://www.wtatour.com/page/RankingsDoubles/0,,12781~0~1~100,00.html. 

External links



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