BEIJING, China - The WTA announced a brand new stream of tournaments this past week, the WTA $125s, which will provide an opportunity for emerging markets currently not able to host a Premier or International event to host a WTA $125 event and showcase a women's tennis product.
The WTA $125s will offer some of the WTA's lower-ranked players who are eager to play more matches and tournaments, and whose seasons end earlier than the WTA's elite players, an opportunity to play extra tournaments and earn more ranking points. With total prize money of $125,000 and 160 ranking points for the champion, WTA $125s will be one level above top-tier ITF Women's Circuit events, which offer $100,000 and 150 ranking points.
The first WTA $125 - the OEC Taipei WTA Ladies Open - will take place from October 27 to November 4 this year in Taipei, Taiwan. It will be the first WTA $125 event in the region and is set to take place in 2012 and 2013, held in the 15,000-seat Taipei Arena with 32/16/16 draw sizes.
"We are delighted that the first WTA $125 will be hosted in Taipei, fueling the growth of the sport in the Asia-Pacific territory even further," said Peter Johnston, WTA's Managing Director of Asia-Pacific. "There is a growing appetite for women's tennis throughout the region and we couldn't have asked for a better city and venue to be hosting our first WTA Challenger with a great stadium, a fantastic promoter and to the enthusiastic fans in Chinese Taipei."
"We're very happy to get this opportunity to hold the first WTA $125 event in the Asia-Pacific region," commented Mr. Robert Han, Chairman of OEC Group. "We look forward to welcoming players from all around the world to play our event and enjoying our beautiful city. OEC Sports will work with the WTA closely to make the OEC Taipei WTA Ladies Open a huge success."
Stay tuned to wtatennis.com for more news about the WTA $125s.