- World No.1 Serena Williams chases history and all-time records
- Season-long quest begins as the world’s best look towards the 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global
- Emerging champions aim for breakthrough title runs in 2016
The third edition of the WTA’s Road to Singapore will travel through 33 countries with 57 events and four Grand Slams, returning to the pinnacle event of the women’s tennis season, the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 23 – 30, 2016.
Steve Simon, WTA CEO stated, “The level of competition and depth of field in women’s tennis are very strong right now. We expect an exciting 2016 season that builds on the intense race to Singapore we witnessed in 2015.” Simon added, ”I anticipate many great storylines as the season unfolds along with what I am sure will be a number of surprises and upsets. This all adds up to the promise of gripping action on court day in day out at each of our 57 events that will excite WTA fans and partners around the globe.”
As the WTA season kicks off this week, below is a look at compelling stories fans will be able to follow from opening day:
TOP STORIES THIS SEASON:
1. Serena Continues to Chase History: Serena Williams enters the 2016 season as World No.1 with 69 WTA singles titles, including 21 Grand Slams. Atop the WTA Rankings since February 2013, Williams is approaching the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1. As of January 4, 2016, Serena is at 151 weeks; Steffi Graf holds the record at 186 weeks. She also enters the 2016 season with 21 Grand Slam titles, bidding to equal Graf’s Open Era record of 22 and within reach of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.
3. WTA Finals Champion Agnieszka Radwanska: Agnieszka Radwanska finished the season on a strong note winning 17 of her last 21 matches, en route to titles at Tokyo PPO, Tianjin and the WTA Finals. Dubbed “La Professora”, “The Magician”, and “Ninja”, Radwanska continued to impress tennis circles with her wizardry on court and was voted winner of WTA Shot of the Year for the third-straight year. Radwanska capped her 2015 season by lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy in Singapore. The last player to win the WTA Finals without a Slam title to her credit was Amelie Mauresmo, who won two Slams the following year (2006 Australian Open, 2006 Wimbledon).
4. 2016 Olympic Games: After Wimbledon, the 2016 season will return to the hardcourts with four Premier events and the Olympic Games in Rio before leading into the US Open. Venus Williams is set to compete in her fifth Olympic Games, an accomplishment achieved by only Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the women’s tennis event. Serena Williams could add a fifth gold medal to her collection (1 singles, 3 doubles) and either Serena or Venus could become the first tennis player to collect five medals. Additionally, Martina Hingis will compete in her first Olympic Games since 1996.
5. More Milestones Within Reach:
· With 737 match wins, Serena Williams sits at No.8 on the all-time career match win list with her sights on Conchita Martinez (739, 7th), Lindsay Davenport (753, 6th) and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (759, 5th).
· Maria Sharapova enters 2016 with three match wins shy of 600. She will attempt to become the 17th WTA player to reach 600 match wins at Brisbane.
WHAT’S NEW ON THE 2016 WTA CALENDAR?
· St. Petersburg, Russia: Relocation of Premier event from Antwerp the week of February 8
· Kaohsiung: Relocation of International event from Pattaya City the week of February 8
· Dubai: Premier event the week of February 15
· Doha: Premier 5 event the week of February 22
· Istanbul: Moves to red clay event the week of April 18 (from July)
· Mallorca: New International event on grass the week of June 13
· Bad Gastein: Moves one week earlier to the week of July 11
· Bastad: Moves one week later to the week of July 18
· Stanford: Moves to the week of July 18 (from August)
· Washington DC: Moves to the week of July 18 (from August)
· Montréal: Moves to the week of July 25 (from August)
· Nanchang: Relocation of International event from Baku (week of August 1)
· Florianopolis: Moves to the week of August 1, week prior to Rio 2016 (from July)
· 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro: August 6-14
· Louisville: New International event the week of August 22
For more information about what the 2016 WTA season holds, please click here.