- Austin to compete in WTA Legends Classic at WTA Finals Singapore
Last year, fans from 110 different countries cast more than 690,000 votes to send their favorite Rising Stars to the WTA Finals Singapore. Ultimately, Zarina Diyas, Monica Puig, Shelby Rogers and Zheng Saisai earned enough fan votes to send them to Singapore, with Puig claiming the inaugural title.
The four WTA Rising Star participants will be selected purely by fan vote, which can be achieved through WTAFinals.com or on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram simply by stating #WTARisingStars and player name. Voting is open from September 8 - October 2.
WTA Chairman and CEO, Stacey Allaster stated, “The Rising Stars of the WTA represent the future of our sport and we are pleased to incorporate their success and personalities into our season ending BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. The WTA is committed to providing opportunities for young talent across the board, one such instance is to experience the WTA’s grand stage, and bringing the fans along to be a part of the journey.”
Tracy Austin, who owns the record for the youngest player to win a WTA singles title (14 years, 28 days old) and the youngest to win the US Open (16 years, 9 months), helped kick off the voting for this year’s WTA Rising Stars Invitational, offering insight on the potential field.
“This year’s group of WTA Rising Stars Invitational hopefuls represents many players that will become the next generation of WTA stars,” said Austin. “Bringing the fans in to vote to send their favorites to Singapore adds a great element to the competition, as well. I am looking forward to seeing the results of the fan vote and watching the four players compete in Singapore.”
It was also announced that Austin, winner of 30 career singles titles including two US Open championships, will play in the WTA Legends Classic at the 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. The American sporting icon, who joins fellow greats Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Martina Navratilova in the four-woman WTA Legends Classic field, will also support and promote the “Road to Singapore”, a season-long campaign that follows the WTA stars, WTA Rising Stars and WTA Future Stars on their quest to qualify and compete in the season finale.
The WTA Rising Stars Invitational event will showcase these next generation of stars competing in an alternative scoring format. Players can also choose to have their coach courtside on the player bench for the entirety of the match and can utilize the newly launched SAP Tennis Analytics for coaches, whereby players and coaches can access real-time performance data during live match play on a WTA authorized tablet.
Additionally, all matches at the WTA Rising Stars Invitational will be streamed live on WTAFinals.com along with the WTA Finals app powered by SAP. Notably, the WTA Rising Stars Invitational held at OCBC Arena at the Singapore Sports Hub is free to the public, making it accessible to all fans.
This year’s WTA Finals features a record $7 million purse and includes an expanded format featuring eight days of competition taking place from October 23-November 1. The event will be hosted in Singapore through 2018.
Singapore became the ninth city to host the WTA Finals in 2014 joining Boca Raton (1972-73), Los Angeles (1974-76, 2002-05), Oakland (1978), New York City (1977, 1979-2000), Munich (2001), Madrid (2006-07), Doha (2008-10) and Istanbul (2011-13).
Last year, new milestones were set at the WTA Finals with record highs for attendance, TV viewing and online audiences as fans from around the world traveled to Singapore and tuned in to the exciting 10-day sport entertainment extravaganza showcasing the world’s best female athletes. The event attracted 129,000 spectators and 93,000 fans attended to the Singapore Sports Hub to enjoy 10 days of on- and off-court sport and entertainment in the stadium, as well as in the fan festival which offered free access to the public.
In 2015, fans and spectators of the WTA Finals can expect the WTA to amplify engagement efforts by building a deeper connection with the fan base, delivering richer, more compelling digital content and creating money can’t buy experiences all in an effort to further its vision to become the most fan-friendly sport entertainment experience on earth.
Tickets for the general public start at S$16.90 and can be purchased through Sports Hub Tix www.sportshub.com.sg/WTAFinals, the official ticketing partner of the 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Log on to the WTA Finals website www.WTAFinals.com for more information and follow on Twitter (@WTAFinalsSG) and Facebook (facebook.com/WTAFinalsSG).