SINGAPORE – Twelve iconic WTA figures will serve as Legend Ambassadors for the fifth and final edition of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
Three-time major champion Jennifer Capriati joins this year's illustrious dozen, which consists of Grand Slam champions and WTA trailblazers who've shaped the tour for the better part of four decades.
Leading the group for the final stop in Singapore will be Billie Jean King, founder of the WTA, who will return to the WTA Finals for the first time since 2014.
During her visit to Singapore last March in conjunction with International Women’s Day, King was moved by how much the sport has grown since her previous visit for the first edition.
"It is always heartening to see a community respond so enthusiastically to our sport, and Singapore has really embraced women’s tennis over the last five years," King said.
"When I was here for the first edition of the WTA Finals in 2014, I already had a feeling that Singapore was going to be an amazing host city. Then when I came back in March this year, it was fantastic to see how the understanding for the sport has matured, and how passionate the fans are."
The WTA Finals Legend Ambassadors will support the 10-day tennis festival through a comprehensive program of sponsor, media and community engagement activities.
Martina Navratilova, after whom the WTA Finals Doubles Trophy is named, will also be back and joined by Chris Evert – making them the two WTA Legends who have participated in all five editions of the event in Singapore.
"Singapore has such a special place in my heart because I have attended every year and have seen for myself how the WTA Finals event has continued to improve year after year," Navratilova said.
"It is always such a pleasure to be part of the event as the setting is so unique, the passionate fans make it such a memorable experience and of course there is always great food and entertainment nearby. I’m really looking forward to this grand finale and toasting to a job well done in Singapore."
Returning too are Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Iva Majoli, Alicia Molik, Mary Pierce and Monica Seles, together with Asian role models Yayuk Basuki and Tamarine Tanasugarn.
Tanasugarn said: "It is a bittersweet feeling to see the WTA Finals in Singapore come to an end this year, but I am so thankful for what the event has done to raise the profile of the sport in the region. I have been lucky to be involved in the WTA Future Stars initiative which has really become something that all the juniors in Asia-Pacific aspire to be a part of. Having the event in Singapore has helped to kickstart the growth of the sport in our part of the world, and I hope that it will continue to develop further in future."
The newest addition to the incredible list of WTA Finals Legend Ambassadors this year is Capriati, who twice reached the semifinals of the season-ending event in 2002 and 2003.
The former WTA World No.1 and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame competed in the event seven times in her career.
Tickets to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global are on sale at WTAFinals.com, an immersive one-stop destination for all things tournament-related, bringing fans the latest news from the top players as they pursue their journey on the Porsche Race to Singapore.
Read more: Singapore Six: Is the Porsche Race to Singapore headed for another photo finish?
"The WTA Finals Legend Ambassador program has really played an integral role in our community outreach during the event’s tenure in Singapore. Through meet and greet sessions, clinics, forums, and conferences, the WTA Legends have been able to touch the hearts of the fans, the next generation of players, the volunteers, and all those who have been involved in the WTA Finals over the last five years," said Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals.
"I have had so many young kids come up to me to share their excitement of how they got Kim Clijsters’ autograph, and fans telling me about how they have been inspired to pursue their dreams after hearing about Monica Seles’ journey. All these stories are a testament to how impactful the WTA Finals Legend Ambassadors have been on the community, and I am so excited to be welcoming all 12 of them to Singapore in October to celebrate what will be the best WTA Finals yet."
Two singles spots and two doubles places have already been confirmed for this year's event, with French Open winner and World No.1 Simona Halep and Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber already qualifying, along with Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova, and Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.