Monday, January 6, 2014
As the Chairman & CEO of the WTA, I wanted to share our organization's excitement around such a momentous first week of the season, as well as the launch of the Road To Singapore.
It was fun to see the Road To Singapore become live. The tender process was almost 18 months, then we made the decision, and then the announcement - and to now have the 2014 season kick off with the launch of the Road To Singapore was really exciting. It's a monumental game changer for the WTA to have the WTA Championships staged in Singapore, and to work with the World Sports Group, the Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Sports Council. They're going to transform the WTA Championships and it's a terrific opportunity to build our fan base in South East Asia, and Asia overall.
In any WTA promotional campaign we're look to create a simple yet iconic symbol that everyone can recognize, and also one that's easy to execute. The Road To Singapore road signs are just that, and because we'll have them at our Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 events all year, it's going to be a cool way for us to tell the story about how the qualification for the WTA Championships in Singapore relies on the results of those big WTA events and the four Slams.
The first week of the Road To Singapore was amazing. We had an unbelievable final in Auckland - two former No.1s, and to have Venus Williams in that final against Ana Ivanovic competing in a tough three-setter was great for the fans. I am certain both Ana and Venus were energized by their successful start to the season. Ana has said one of her goals this year is to qualify for the WTA Championships, and the same for Venus. It was just fantastic for the fans at the ASB Classic.
It doesn't get more perfect for the fans and the sponsors in Shenzhen than having their national hero defending her title against Peng Shuai - to have an all-Chinese final there, you couldn't have scripted it better. And then Brisbane - Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams playing such a great match in the semifinals, and then No.1 and No.2 in the final with Victoria Azarenka - to have 1-2-3-4 all playing on the final weekend sets a great preview of what our fans can expect from our top players in 2014.
And things won't slow down this week, either. We have six Top 10 players competing in Sydney, with some of our biggest stars like Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki all playing their first WTA events of the year, and Aussie No.1 Sam Stosur in Hobart - Week 2 will be great, too.
I hope you're all enjoying the start to the new WTA season as much as we are, and whether you're coming out to the tournaments, watching on TV or following us online, I know you will enjoy watching the world's best female athletes compete all year long!
Have a great week,
Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the WTA