• Former World No.1 and 2021 WTA Finals champion becomes first player to assume leadership position at season finale
  • Spanish star to play central role in growing women’s tennis in Middle East and beyond

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The WTA on Wednesday announced former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza will serve as Tournament Director of the WTA Finals Riyadh, the season-ending tournament of the Hologic WTA Tour. The 30-year-old Spaniard becomes the first former player to spearhead the WTA’s crown jewel event, which she won in 2021.

Starting with this year’s edition, which takes place from Nov. 2-9 featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the PIF Race to the WTA Finals, Muguruza will work with WTA, the Saudi Tennis Federation and the Ministry of Sport to oversee strategic planning and delivery of the event for the next three years (2024-26). In particular, she will work to grow the profile of tennis across the Middle East and play a central role in promoting healthy lifestyles to young people around the region.

“I feel very privileged to be able to contribute to the future of this great sport as Tournament Director of the WTA Finals Riyadh,” Muguruza said. “I know how special this event is for our top players, and I’ve also seen its potential to inspire communities all over the world. I’m excited to work with a great team to present a showcase for women’s tennis that not only grows tennis but encourages all fans, and especially girls and women, to pursue their dreams.”

During her playing career, Muguruza qualified for the WTA Finals on four occasions, capturing the Billie Jean King Trophy at Guadalajara, Mexico in 2021. Her career haul of 10 singles titles includes two Grand Slam trophies: Roland-Garros in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017. She is the only player to have defeated both Serena and Venus Williams in a major final. Other notable results include three WTA 1000 titles: the China Open in 2015, the Cincinnati Open in 2017 and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 2021.

On Sept. 11, 2017, Muguruza rose to No.1 on the PIF WTA Rankings and held the top spot for four weeks. In doubles, she achieved a career-high ranking of No.10 in 2015 and won five titles -- three of them alongside Carla Suárez Navarro, with whom she reached the title bout at the WTA Finals in Singapore in 2015.

“Garbiñe is a global role model who understands the power of sport to make a difference to people from all walks of life,” said Steve Simon, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “I know she will have the best interests of our players at heart, while remaining dedicated to the wider goals of participation and inclusivity -- values on which the WTA was founded. She is a true champion, on and off court, and the perfect candidate for this critical role in what we believe will be a thrilling WTA Finals.”

Muguruza joins a growing and esteemed list of former players who currently hold Tournament Director posts on the Hologic WTA Tour, including Alicia Molik (Adelaide), Anke Huber (Stuttgart), Laura Robson (Nottingham), Barbara Rittner (Berlin), Valérie Tétreault (Montreal) and Brenda Perry (Wuhan). Additionally, Amelie Mauresmo took over as Tournament Director of Roland-Garros in 2021 and Conchita Martinez presides over the ITF’s Billie Jean King Cup team competition.

Muguruza's appointment builds on news that renowned tennis coach Judy Murray -- mother of ATP stars Andy and Jamie Murray -- will serve as the WTA Finals Community Ambassador. In this capacity, Murray will lead a series of grassroots-level engagements, including visits to Saudi schools to conduct coaching clinics and mentoring sessions, while training local workforces to enable them to build upon current tennis programs and develop new initiatives.

The Saudi Tennis Federation has announced its ambition to inspire 1 million into tennis by 2030.