The WTA is celebrating #WomenThatAchieve with a premier fan experience known as Tennis on the Thames.
For 45 years, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has been an authority at the forefront of change in women’s sport. Record-breaking achievements and milestones throughout the WTA’s history have left an undeniable imprint on culture, with sportswomen like Billie Jean King and Serena Williams among the most recognizable faces in the world.
The WTA is more than the Women’s Tennis Association. It is about Women That Achieve, Act, Aspire, Advocate, Arise, Adapt and Amaze. Today, the rising stars of women’s tennis continue to embody this pioneering spirit with aspirations and achievements both on and off the court.
Serena Williams doesn’t need to win a 24th Grand Slam title to show she’s the greatest to ever play the game – but that’s the challenge she set herself when she launched the mother of all comebacks. With a legacy that is already far greater than the sum of her superhuman career statistics, this iconic American delivers a forceful message of equality and empowerment – and proof that an iron will makes anything possible.
Simona Halep worked her way to the top of women’s tennis with subtle strength and finesse, and by treating every single tournament as a prize. Along the way the Romanian treated her setbacks in Grand Slam finals with humility and resolve – before triumph on the red clay of Roland Garros brought relief and joy, and confirmation of her World No.1 status.
With her booming serve and powerful groundstrokes, Madison Keys plays tennis much the same way she lives her life – without fear. The 23-year-old isn’t afraid to call out the behavior of social media trolls and as an ambassador for anti-bullying organization FearlesslyGIRL is dedicated to inspiring girls to be kinder to themselves and each other.
First British woman to reach the semifinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon since Virginia Wade in December 1977, first to defeat a reigning World No.1 since Sue Barker in 1979, first to break into the Top 5 in 33 years – Johanna Konta continues to rewrite the history books and boost the hopes of a nation. With a prestigious Miami Open title to her name and the focus and discipline to reach for more, the ink isn’t dry yet.
Sloane Stephens’ potential was never in doubt but the tennis world was stunned when she lifted the US Open trophy in 2017, so soon after foot surgery and an 11-month break. Proving her win had been no fluke, the 25-year-old next made headlines by capturing this year’s Miami Open, before storming to a second Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. Cool, calm and collected, the biggest stages are where she shines brightest.
Graceful and wise, Venus Williams commands respect and whenever equality of opportunity is at stake, her voice has a unique power. A longtime member of the WTA’s Player Council and a champion who focuses on the horizon, she proved to be an especially powerful campaigner for pay parity in Grand Slam tennis – a watershed secured at Wimbledon in 2007.
WTA World No.1 in doubles and on a three-Slam streak, Bethanie Mattek-Sands was at the peak of her powers when a career-threatening knee injury struck at Wimbledon in 2017. While refusing to accept her playing days might be over, America’s tennis rock star made the most of her rehabilitation by launching full throttle into media work – earning five-star reviews and setting the scene for a whole new career, when the time comes.
Among the rare few to achieve a career Grand Slam, Maria Sharapova’s journey from Siberia to World No.1 is a tale of fierce work ethic and will to win. Yet the 31-year-old transcends tennis precisely because she understands there’s more to life than sport – as a businesswoman, fashion icon and charity campaigner who makes a difference.
Elina Svitolina’s air of quiet confidence is fueled by an inner conviction that has already made her Ukraine’s most successful tennis player ever. With an impressive 12-2 record in WTA finals and a particular talent for coolly defending titles from Dubai to Rome, the London-based 23-year-old promises to be a contender for future Grand Slam glory.
The two-time Wimbledon champion is practically unassailable, and a big part of the 28-year-old's appeal to fans is her humility and courage. Tested to the limit, the charming Czech lefty offers proof that love for a game can be life-affirming - and that nothing can deny a champion's innate will to win.
Famously tipped by Andy Murray to be a future No.1, France’s Caroline Garcia possesses the athletic game and the work ethic to make it to the top. Propelled into the Top 10 by back-to-back titles at Wuhan and Beijing in 2017, the 24-year-old also thrives on the support of her close-knit family and fans, summed up in a signature hashtag that says it all -- #FlyWithCaro.
Earning back-to-back World No.1 season finishes by the time she was 21, and at least one WTA title every year for a decade, Caroline Wozniacki always impressed with her drive to maximise her potential. So when victory at the WTA Finals in 2017 was followed Grand Slam glory at the Australian Open, the tennis world could only agree: it had been a marathon, and the great Dane was due.
Belgium’s Elise Mertens has big tennis shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of the great Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, with Kim serving as a key mentor. But her country’s proud tradition doesn’t overwhelm the determined 22-year-old, whose rise through the ranks has been steady yet swift – exactly two years after making her WTA main draw debut, she recently cracked the Top 15.
Few can lay claim to conquering the great Serena Williams in a dazzling Grand Slam final, but that’s exactly what Angelique Kerber did to claim her first major at the Australian Open in 2016. Later that season, triumph at the US Open sealed the super-focused lefthander’s status as World No.1 – the first German woman to hold the coveted top spot since the legendary Stefanie Graf.
Armed with one of the sport’s most potent serves, Germany’s Julia Goerges plays a high-stakes brand of tennis that has evolved with time and confidence. At the end of 2017, more than six years after her unseeded triumph at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, the daring ball striker unleashed an impressive three-tournament victory streak – resulting in a hard-earned Top 10 debut.
On court, two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza exudes power and panache. Off court, the 24-year-old Spanish star – who won Roland Garros in 2016 and is Wimbledon’s defending champion – knows the importance of using her platform to make a difference. As an ambassador for Room to Read, a global non-profit focused on literacy and girls’ education, she is doing just that.
With two WTA titles, two Grand Slam semifinals and Fed Cup triumph under her belt, CoCo Vandeweghe boasts the kind of athletic pedigree that might have assured success in any number of sports. On the tennis court, the 26-year-old’s natural power and all-American charisma makes her formidable opposition – perhaps never more so than when she is representing her country.
Karolina Pliskova’s fearsome first serve took her to World No.1 and secured her status as the WTA’s undisputed #AceQueen. But in her native Czech Republic, the low-key 26-year-old is also building a reputation as a Queen of Hearts. The endowment fund she established in 2017 supports childhood oncology facilities, meaning each ace delivered at Wimbledon will help put a smile on the faces of kids and families fighting cancer.
As a two-time Grand Slam champion who has topped the WTA rankings, Victoria Azarenka has become one of the celebrated Tour-playing mothers. A key member of the WTA Player Council, Victoria has a way of being impassioned yet impartial and articulates her leadership throughout Tour discussions, including maternity support and working to ensure the right systems are in place within a framework that’s fair for all competitors.
Russia’s Daria Kasatkina is an athletic artist on the court and also an entertainer who thrills tennis fans with her flair and finesse. Step-by-step, the determined 21-year-old known as ‘Dasha’ is capitalizing on her talent, notching wins over formidable opponents with an eye on capturing the biggest titles.
Jelena Ostapenko was still a teenager when she cut through the field on her way to the final at 2017 Roland Garros. Then, two days after her 20th birthday, the unseeded Latvian mounted a breathtaking finals comeback against Simona Halep – announcing herself to the world with a fearless brand of tennis that brought Grand Slam glory and a place in the Top 10 elite.
Olympic gold medalist at Rio, Monica Puig is a sporting hero in her native Puerto Rico but, more than that, a patriot who wears her heart on her sleeve. When her homeland was ravaged by hurricanes in 2017, the 24-year-old threw herself behind relief efforts – rallying a six-figure sum from donations, assisting in the distribution of medical supplies and using her global platform to ensure the victims are supported and not forgotten.
On June 28th, the WTA will host Tennis on the Thames on London’s South Bank. Attended by Judy Murray OBE, the public event will celebrate the achievements of female tennis stars both past and present with a new photography exhibition, spotlighting some of the greatest achievements of players both on and off the court over the past 45 years.
- See the WTA #WomenThatAchieve Photo Exhibit
- 10:45 Get a sneak peek at Judy Murray’s MissHits, a fun and friendly tennis program for girls aged 5-8
- 11:00 Relax on the lawn with free ice cream and live streaming of WTA's Nature Valley International in Eastbourne
- 11:30 Energize with the USANA Game, Set, Match Workout with WTA’s Samantha Stosur and London’s own UN1T fitness studio
- 12:30 Head to Bernie Spain Gardens for a chance to meet WTA legend and former WTA World No.1 Monica Seles
- 13:00 Play tennis on a pop-up court with Judy Murray, OBE
- 15:30 Cool down with Häagen-Dazs and Sloane Stephens with their Champion VS Challenger ice cream battle: #TeamStrawberries vs. #TeamCookies #LetsPlay
- Surprise player meet and greets by Victoria Azarenka, CoCo Vandeweghe, Katie Boulter and Katie Swan
- 17:30 Claim your selfie spot on the Purple Carpet as WTA players such as Garbiñe Muguruza, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Madison Keys make their entrance
Follow @WTA and #WomenThatAchieve for more exciting announcements.
Based in London or visiting for Wimbledon? RSVP to the event here.