The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was founded by women’s tennis legend, Billie Jean King in the year 1973. It is a professional organization of the Women’s tennis which organizes the WTA Tour worldwide. It works in almost the same way as men’s ATP rankings works. WTA’s corporate headquarters is in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. Its European headquarters is in London, UK and Asia-Pacific headquarters is in Beijing, China.
The first WTA tournament was organized on 23rd Sepetember 1970 although the association was found later in June 1973. The tournament was named ‘Virginia Slims’ which was organized in Houston, Texas and was arranged by Gladys Heldman.
- Billie Jean King became the first female athlete to cross US$ 100, 00 in earnings in a single year.
- Chris Evert Lloyd became the first female athlete to cross US$ 1, 000, 000 in career earnings.
- In 7 years since its establishment over a 250 women became professional tennis players.
- Martina Navratilova became the first female player to earn US$ 1, 000, 000 in a single year.
- Martina Hingis became the first ever women's player to earn US$ 3 million in a single year.
- Kim Clijsters surpassed Hingis in the year 2003 by earning US$ 4 million in a single year.
- In 2007, Venus Williams and WTA pushed the prize money in Wimbledon and in French Open equal to the male players successfully.
Current WTA picture:
- Stacy Allaster is the Chairman and CEO of WTA since 2006.
- Sony Ericsson is the long term sponsor of WTA which is worth US$ 88 million.
- Tournament Categories
- Grand Slam Tournaments (4)
- WTA Tour Championships (1)
- Premier Mandatory – Indian Wells, Miami Open, Madrid Open and Beijing Open
- Premier Five – Doha Open, Rome Open, Montreal Open, Cincinnati Open and Wuhan Open
- Premier – Twelve events in total
- International Tournaments
- WTA 125K Series
- Ranking Method
- Rolling 52 week cumulative system
- 16 singles and 11 doubles tournaments
- Points awarded on the base of how a player advances in a particular tournament.
- To be considered in the top rankings at the end of the year, the Grand Slam points mush be earned by a player.