ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA has announced that Kaohsiung, Taiwan, will become the new host of a WTA International tournament in 2016.
APG acquired the existing membership in Pattaya City, Thailand, and relocated the tournament to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where it is scheduled to take place the week of February 8, 2016.
"We are very excited to welcome Kaohsiung as host of the first ever WTA International tournament in Taiwan," said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. "The WTA will hold a record nine Premier and International tournaments across the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2016, demonstrating our strong commitment to growth in the Asia-Pacific region."
The new WTA International event in Kaohsiung will feature a 32-player draw and offer $500,000 prize money. It will be staged at the Yang-Ming Tennis Centre, which boasts a 5,000-seat center court, a 650-seat additional stadium, as well as 10 additional courts on site.
Taiwan's first taste of WTA tennis came back in 2012, with Taipei successfully hosting a WTA 125K Series event for the last three years. The WTA 125K Series encourages emerging markets to showcase professional women's tennis, while offering up-and-coming players valuable prize money and ranking points.
The WTA will host a record nine WTA Premier and International tournaments in Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan during the 2016 season: Beijing (Premier Mandatory), Wuhan (Premier 5), Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Nanchang, Shenzhen, Tianjin (International), and Zhuhai (WTA Elite Trophy).
The WTA's long-term strategy of growing women's tennis in Asia-Pacific is built around an expansive footprint in China and the wider region, with Singapore hosting the prestigious year-end BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global for five years between 2014 and 2018, and the newly-added WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai for five years between 2015 and 2019.