WTA announces new tour calendar and path to equal prize money

  • New Hologic WTA Tour structure will showcase the top athletes who regularly play top tournaments
  • Commitment to a path to equal prize money at combined WTA 1000 events by 2027
  • Changes are a key component of the new WTA strategy to support sustainable long-term growth for players, tournaments and all stakeholders in the sport

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The WTA announced an exciting new strategy on Tuesday that will create a solid path toward equal prize money and a revised Hologic WTA Tour calendar that provides sustainable long-term growth for women’s tennis. These key changes will support the growth of the sport and improve the overall experience for the WTA’s global fan base and key stakeholders in the game.

The revised calendar structure will raise the excitement and level of competition at all Hologic WTA Tour events to new heights with:

  • A tour that showcases the top players consistently playing the top events while providing a structure for player mobility and growth opportunities
  • A tour with a strong narrative throughout the year, delivering top matches and rivalries, telling the story of our athletes’ journeys to the global fan base
  • A tour that facilitates the acceleration of the WTA’s commercial growth and provides a sustainable economic model for tournaments and players

One of the main pillars of the strategy includes creating a path toward equal prize money, a goal envisioned 50 years ago when Billie Jean King founded the WTA. This increase will happen over time to ensure the changes are sustainable for players and tournaments in the long term, with WTA 1000 and 500 combined events achieving equal prize money in 2027 and one-week WTA 1000 and 500 events by 2033.

“50 years after the players found strength in unity, I am proud that the WTA continues to be a global leader focused on providing opportunities, and hope that women in other sports and walks of life will be inspired by their example,” WTA- founder Billie Jean said King.

Said Sloane Stephens, WTA player and player council member: “Each generation contributes to preserving the future of their sport and strives to leave it in a better state for the next. I am proud to be part of this development and fully support out the WTA’s commitment to progress.”

The revised WTA calendar will feature a strengthening of the top WTA events with a focus on delivering the best talent each week in a consistent and clear manner, making it easier for fans to follow.

The WTA 1000-level tournaments (rising to a total of 10) include several transitions to two-week lengths and thus larger draw sizes: Rome (2023), Madrid and Beijing (2024) and Cincinnati and Toronto/Montreal (2025), in addition to the existing Indian Wells and Miami competitions. The additional WTA 1000 events will be one-week events in Doha, Dubai and an event yet to be named.

New player entry rules will ensure a consistent presence of the top athletes at these premium events throughout the year. The increase in two-week WTA 1000 tournaments combined with ATP shows a clearer alignment across both tournaments.

This new strategy also looks to improve WTA 500 events and build their value, achieved through more strategic additions and less overlap across the calendar, along with new entry rules to increase the quality of the playing fields. The updated calendar will see the number of WTA 500 tournaments increase to 17 — Abu Dhabi, Adelaide, Berlin, Brisbane, Charleston, Eastbourne, Monterrey, San Diego, Seoul, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Tokyo, United Cup, Washington, Zhengzhou and two as yet unnamed events.

At the WTA 250 level, tournaments will have a stronger regional focus to create a more sustainable and viable business model that will help foster the next generation of stars.

“This game-changing moment for the Hologic WTA Tour will align the interests of both the tournament and the players and help current and future generations of women’s tennis players,” said WTA Players Council member Donna Vekic. “We are incredibly proud to be a part of this development and the legacy it will have with equal prize money.”

Bob Moran, president of Beemok Sports & Entertainment and tournament director of the Credit One Charleston Open, noted, “On behalf of the tournaments, we are proud and committed to making equal prize money a reality. This investment is critical to finally having professional women’s and men’s tennis equally.”

Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, said: “At the heart of everything the WTA does is to produce the highest quality products and experience, and the strengthened future calendars will have a positive impact for our players, tournaments, fans and partners. Equality, including equal compensation, is a fundamental principle of the WTA and reaching this level is critical. We appreciate the support of our tournaments to ensure this top priority.”

Notable changes in circuit structure are summarized below:

Leave a Comment