WTA Tour

What is the definition of in tennis

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour is a top-tier international tennis tour for women. Organized by the Women’s Tennis Association, it showcases the talents of female players from around the world as they compete in various tournaments to earn WTA rankings points and prestigious titles. The WTA consists of more than 1,650 players representing approximately 85 nations, making it one of the most recognizable and high-profile sports organizations.

Throughout the year, the WTA Tour consists of various levels of events, including 250, 500, and 1000-level events, with the numbers indicating the number of rankings points awarded to the champion. In addition to these, there are the four Grand Slam tournaments, where 2,000 points are awarded to the winner. Players compete on a variety of surfaces including hard courts, clay courts, and grass courts, each with its own unique characteristics that define the nature of the game.

Key Takeaways

  • The WTA Tour is a top-tier international tennis tour for women, showcasing the sport’s top female athletes
  • Throughout the year, the tour consists of various levels of events, including 250, 500, and 1000-level tournaments, as well as the prestigious Grand Slams
  • The WTA Tour features different playing surfaces such as hard courts, clay courts, and grass courts

Overview of the WTA Tour

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour is the premier worldwide professional tennis circuit for women. It is organized by the Women’s Tennis Association and comprises more than 50 events, including tournaments and four Grand Slam championships. These competitions are held across six continents and nearly 30 countries, with a global audience of over 700 million people.

The WTA Tour features a points-based ranking system, with tournaments categorized into 250, 500, and 1000-level events. These numbers indicate the amount of ranking points awarded to the champion. In addition to these events, Grand Slams offer 2,000 points to the winner. The tour is divided into hard court, clay court, and grass court events, each with their unique playing characteristics and challenges.

The WTA Tour season ends with the prestigious WTA Finals, an event that honors the season’s top singles and doubles players based on their final standings in the Race to WTA Finals leaderboard. It is worth mentioning that there are also lower-level tours, namely the WTA 125K series and the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour, which serve as developmental circuits for up-and-coming players.

An example of a notable tournament within the WTA Tour is the Western & Southern Open, a WTA 1000-level event played on outdoor hard courts. The competition takes place at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, and includes a 64-player singles draw and a 32-team doubles draw.

In summary, the WTA Tour is the pinnacle of women’s professional tennis, showcasing the best athletes in the sport throughout a series of international tournaments and Grand Slam events. The tour attracts significant attention and interest and serves as an inspiration for the development of future generations of tennis players.

Historical Background

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour is a top-tier professional tennis tour for women tennis players. Founded in June 1973 by Billie Jean King, the WTA Tour can trace its origins back to the inaugural Virginia Slims tournament which took place on September 23, 1970, at the Houston Racquet Club in Houston, Texas. The event was organized by Gladys Heldman, sponsored by Joe Cullman, CEO of Philip Morris, and saw Rosie Casals emerge as the winner.

It is worth noting that the establishment of the WTA Tour took place two years ahead of the passage of Title IX in the United States, signaling a visionary future for women’s tennis. Billie Jean King, together with a group of eight other renegades, played a crucial role in revolutionizing women’s tennis during the 1970s. These pioneers, often referred to as the “Original Nine,” laid the foundation for the modern-day WTA Tour.

As an organization, the WTA Tour is committed to promoting the sport of women’s tennis worldwide. Over the years, it has grown and evolved tremendously. Today, it comprises numerous tiers, including the WTA 125K series as the second-tier tour and the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour as the third-tier tour. The male counterpart of the WTA Tour is the ATP Tour, which organizes professional tennis events for men.

In conclusion, the WTA Tour’s historical background highlights its dedication to women’s tennis and its development over the past several decades. Through the perseverance and vision of its founders and subsequent leaders, the WTA Tour has cemented its position as the premier platform for women’s professional tennis.

Structure and Ranking System


The WTA Tour, also known as the Women’s Tennis Association Tour, is a series of professional tennis tournaments for female players. The tour features various categories of events:

  • Grand Slam tournaments (4): These are the major championships in tennis, including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open, offering the highest number of ranking points (2,000).
  • Year-ending WTA Finals (1): This prestigious event gathers the top-ranked singles and doubles players of the season.
  • WTA 1000 tournaments (9): A set of nine events that award significant ranking points, falling below the Grand Slams and WTA Finals.

Tournaments span across three court surfaces: hard courts, clay courts, and grass courts, each affecting the nature of the game differently.

Ranking System

The WTA ranking system is based on a 52-week rolling period, reflecting players’ performance in their selected best tournaments (16 for singles and 11 for doubles). Points are awarded to players according to their success in official tournaments within the past year.

The system is structured as follows:

  • Grand Slams: 2,000 points awarded to the winner
  • WTA Finals: Ranking points vary depending on results
  • WTA Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 tournaments: Yield the highest ranking points after Grand Slams and WTA Finals
  • WTA 1000, 500, and 250 events: Denotes the number of ranking points awarded to the champion of each respective tournament category

This ranking system assigns position to players in the global standings, determining seedings and entry into tournaments. The rankings are updated on a weekly basis to maintain the current standings of players.

Famous Tournaments

Grand Slam Events

The WTA Tour in tennis comprises the most prestigious and competitive events for women. One category of such tournaments includes the Grand Slam events, which are the four most important tennis tournaments held annually. These events attract the best players, garner immense media attention, and offer the highest ranking points and prize money.

  1. Australian Open: Held annually in Melbourne, Australia, the Australian Open takes place in January and is played on a hardcourt surface.
  2. French Open: Also known as Roland Garros, the French Open is held in Paris, France in late May and early June. It is played on a clay court.
  3. Wimbledon: Wimbledon is held in London, UK, between late June and early July. It is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and players compete on grass courts.
  4. US Open: The US Open is held annually in New York City, USA, in August and September. Like the Australian Open, it is played on a hardcourt surface.

Premier Mandatory Events

Another category of tournaments on the WTA Tour is the Premier Mandatory Events. These tournaments play a significant role in the tour, offering prestigious titles and substantial prize money. There are currently four Premier Mandatory events:

  1. BNP Paribas Open: Taking place in Indian Wells, California, USA, this tournament is held in March and played on hardcourt.
  2. Miami Open: The Miami Open is held in Miami, Florida, USA, in late March and early April. It is also played on a hardcourt surface.
  3. Mutua Madrid Open: In early May, the Mutua Madrid Open occurs in Madrid, Spain, featuring a clay court surface.
  4. China Open: The China Open takes place in Beijing, China, in late September and early October, with matches being played on a hardcourt surface.

In addition to the Grand Slam events and Premier Mandatory events, there are numerous other tournaments on the WTA Tour, such as WTA 1000, WTA 500, and WTA 250 events. These tournaments also play a crucial role in the professional careers of women tennis players, offering opportunities to accumulate ranking points and earn a higher standing in the global tennis community.

Prominent Players

The WTA Tour has been blessed with numerous exceptional tennis players over the years, showcasing exceptional skill, talent, and determination. Among these prominent players are:

Serena Williams: With 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, Serena Williams remains one of the most decorated and dominant figures in women’s tennis history. Her powerful serve, athleticism, and relentless pursuit of winning have firmly established her as a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Steffi Graf: Regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Steffi Graf dominated the sport in the 1980s and 1990s. She has won 22 Grand Slam singles titles and held the World No. 1 ranking for a record 377 weeks. Graf is the only tennis player – male or female – to have achieved the Golden Slam, which consists of winning all four major singles titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same year (1988).

Martina Navratilova: Boasting 18 Grand Slam singles titles, Martina Navratilova is known for her impressive athleticism and versatility on the court. A natural left-handed player, her strengths include aggressive net play, powerful serve and volley technique, and tenacity on every surface.

Chris Evert: Chris Evert has collected a vast array of achievements throughout her career, including 18 Grand Slam singles titles and holding the World No. 1 ranking for a total of 260 weeks. Known for her mental fortitude and consistency, Evert excelled on clay courts, winning a record seven French Open singles titles.

Maria Sharapova: Maria Sharapova rose to prominence at a young age, winning her first Grand Slam title at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships at just 17 years old. During her career, she claimed five Grand Slam singles titles and held the World No. 1 ranking for a total of 21 weeks.

These players, and many others, have left indelible marks on the WTA Tour and women’s tennis as a whole. Their skill, passion, and commitment to the sport continue to inspire the next generation of female tennis players.

Significant Achievements

The WTA Tour, or Women’s Tennis Association Tour, is a top-tier global tennis circuit for women. With a rich history dating back to the 1970s, the tour has witnessed several outstanding milestones. In this section, we take a look at some of the most significant achievements in the history of the WTA Tour.

Martina Navratilova’s Legacy: Martina Navratilova dominated women’s tennis during the 1980s. In 1984, she received a $1 million bonus from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after winning the Roland Garros title. This win allowed her to hold all four Grand Slam singles crowns at the same time. Navratilova also surpassed $2 million in season earnings, more than men’s No.1 John McEnroe at that time.

The Original 9: In 1970, nine female tennis players, led by Billie Jean King, formed the first-ever women’s professional tennis circuit. It was initially named the Virginia Slims Circuit and later evolved into the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in 1973. These groundbreaking pioneers laid the foundation for the modern-day WTA Tour, paving the way for future generations of female tennis players.

Serena Williams’ Domination: Serena Williams has consistently elevated the sport of women’s tennis since her professional debut in the late 1990s. In September 2013, she garnered a record-breaking prize money total of $9 million in a single season, surpassing the record of $7.9 million previously held by Victoria Azarenka. Williams has also held the World No.1 ranking in singles on eight separate occasions.

Highest Level of Competition: The WTA Tour comprises a variety of tournaments, including 250, 500, and 1000-level events, as well as the prestigious Grand Slam titles. Champions of a Grand Slam event are awarded 2000 ranking points, signifying the highest level of competition within the sport. The tour also features the year-ending WTA Finals, further showcasing the world’s top female tennis players.

Over the years, the WTA Tour has evolved into a globally renowned sports organization, celebrating the accomplishments of women in tennis. With groundbreaking moments and powerful stories, the WTA continues to inspire future generations and write the history of the sport.