GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The WTA announced Thursday that two of the game’s all-time greats, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, will attend this month’s 2021 AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara as legend ambassadors to the season-ending event that runs from November 10–17.
During her career, Evert, who won the first edition of the season finale in 1972, captured four WTA Finals singles titles. For her part, Navratilova holds the record for most singles titles (eight) and doubles titles (13) at the WTA’s crown-jewel event and the tournament’s doubles trophy is named in her honor.
The two former World No.1s each won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and put together a storied rivalry that ended 43-37 in Navratilova’s favor. As legend ambassadors, they will join forces to share their love of the game through a series of community engagement, sponsor and media initiatives, with particular emphasis on promoting tennis in the Latin America region.
“It’s wonderful to reflect on the growth and global nature of women’s tennis, and I am thrilled to be part of the AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara as our championships are hosted in Latin America for the first time,” Evert said. “With an intriguing field – including six singles players making their tournament debut – fans in Mexico and around the world are in for a treat.”
Said Navratilova: “I have great memories of playing the WTA Finals and can’t wait to see our sport's elite singles and doubles players in action in Guadalajara. I’ll be cheering them on as they finish the year on a high, and it’s particularly exciting that in Giuliana Olmos, Mexico will have its first representative at this special tournament.”
Evert’s feat of winning at least one major a season for 13 years running (1974-1986) is unmatched across men’s and women’s tennis. Among other records, she still owns the best win-loss percentage of the Open Era (.900, winning 1,309 matches) and boasts the longest win streak on a single surface in which she won 125 matches in a row on clay between August 1973 and May 1979.
The winner of 59 majors in total, Navratilova won more singles titles (167), doubles titles (177) and career matches (1,442) than any player in WTA history. Her 237 weeks as doubles No.1 remains the record, and her 332 weeks as singles No.1 ranks second only to Stefanie Graf’s 377.
Gustavo Santoscoy, Co-Tournament Director of the 2021 AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara, said: “Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are global sporting icons and it is an honor to welcome them to Guadalajara. Like millions of fans around the world, Mexicans have long been inspired by their example and I know they will have a memorable time here.”
Fabrice Chouquet, the WTA’s Managing Director, Asia-Pacific and 2021 AKRON WTA Finals Guadalajara Co-Tournament Director, said: “Between them, Chris and Martina won 12 of the first 16 editions of the WTA Finals, and they did so much to build the prestige of the event. They are incredible champions who continue to give back to the sport, and we appreciate their support of what promises to be an amazing showcase of the best in women’s tennis.”
Guadalajara is playing host to the season-ending tournament for this year only, with the event returning to its home in Shenzhen, China in 2022.
The 2021 WTA Finals features the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals – which includes 50 WTA tournaments and four Grand Slams, competing in a round-robin format with the singles champion lifting the WTA Finals Billie Jean King Trophy and the doubles champions earning the WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Trophy.