ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - Martina Navratilova has been named as the first legend who will compete in the inaugural WTA Legends event, to be held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. An eight-time singles champion and 11-time doubles champion at the WTA Finals, Navratilova will also collaborate with the WTA on the design of the newly named Martina Navratilova WTA Finals Doubles Trophy, awarded to the doubles champions.
In addition to competing in the WTA Legends event, Navratilova will participate in community youth programs aimed at inspiring young girls to play sport; share her extensive tennis knowledge with coaches from the region; and participate in fan promotions and corporate partner programs.
"Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest, brightest and most talented players to ever step on a tennis court and she never left any stone unturned in her quest for excellence. With more doubles titles than any other player in WTA history, it is fitting to create the WTA Finals Doubles Champion trophy to permanently recognize Martina's contributions and inspire generations to come," said WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster. "We are thrilled for our fans that she will be playing in the WTA Legends event and her passion and unrivaled knowledge of the game make her a perfect fit to promote women's tennis and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle to kids and fans across Southeast Asia and beyond."
"Playing at the WTA's season finale provided some of the most memorable moments of my career, so I am honored to be in a position to support the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global in an official capacity," Navratilova said from Paris of Monday morning's announcement. "I look forward to a week of fantastic competition in singles and doubles, and to helping grow a love of our sport among fans of all ages in Singapore and throughout this exciting part of the world."
Crowned champion at the WTA Finals eight times in singles (1978-79, 1981, 1983-86) and 11 times in doubles (1980, 1981-85, 1986-89, 1991), Navratilova owns the WTA record for singles titles (167), doubles titles (177) and career match wins (1442). Accumulating 59 Grand Slam titles (18 singles, 31 women's doubles, 10 mixed doubles) throughout her illustrious career, Navratilova has been referred to by International Tennis Hall of Fame legend Billie Jean King as the "greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived," after she announced her retirement from tennis in 2006.
Navratilova joins Chris Evert to support the WTA's first season finale in Singapore. The two forged what is arguably the defining rivalry in WTA history, facing each other 80 times between 1973 and 1988. The two WTA legends now join together in supporting the Road To Singapore and WTA Finals.
For the first time in the 44-year history of the WTA Finals, Singapore becomes the first city in Asia-Pacific to stage the season-ending event (October 17-26, 2014) under the all-encompassing brand identity 'On Top Of The World'. Women's tennis fans will have the opportunity to get closer to their favorite stars and the WTA Finals via a season-long "Road to Singapore" journey. All the latest news will be available from the WTA Finals website www.WTAFinals.com, Twitter (@WTAFSingapore) and Facebook (facebook.com/WTAFinalsSG). Fans will enjoy unparalleled access to their favorite players' season-long journey, including enhanced editorial coverage across all platforms.