The 14th and final Major Tournament for the women’s professional tennis tour is the end of year WTA Tour Finals. Due to title sponsorship naming rights the official name is the Sony Ericsson Championships. This tournament is the pinnacle of the tennis calendar, with all events this year building to this showdown between the world’s best female players.
The year end women’s singles World No.1 ranking is up for grabs. In no other tournament are you required to beat at least 4 if not 5 of the world’s Top 10 ranked players to win the title! Only the Top 8 best performed players for the 2010 season qualify to play-off in this tournament, which begins as a round robin and climaxes with semi finals and a final.
In this post we will cover how the WTA Tour ranking points and prize money are allocated, and what the schedule of play is. The total financial commitment for the 2010 WTA Tour Finals is 4,550,000 million US dollars, with the total prize money for the women’s singles champion being $1,550,000 if she remains undefeated by winning ALL five matches.
The WTA Tour Finals have been held since 1972 and this year is the third and final year that it will be held in Doha, Qatar at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex on hard courts. The centre court can seat 6,911 spectators. From 2011 to 2013 this tournament will be held in Istanbul in Turkey.
During this season ending tournament a ceremony will be held to honour whoever becomes the year-end World No.1. The player who finishes the year with the No.1 ranking is crowned the 2010 WTA Tour Champion. The WTA Tour Finals has 4.55 million US dollars in prize money up for grabs. This women’s tournament runs from Tuesday 26 October through to Women’s Singles Final Day on Sunday 31 October.
Last year Serena Williams (pictured above), won the WTA Tour year-end Championship Final by defeating Venus Williams in straight sets in the final. Serena went undefeated so won 5 matches in a row against Top 10 players to truly deserve to be the 2009 WTA Tour Champion.
The event begins in a round robin format with 2 groups of 4 players, a white group and a maroon group. The colour for the groups are chosen according to the colours of the Qatari National flag. As soon as the groups are announced we will update you right here at OCA.
In the first 4 days of this 6 day tournament each of the 8 women will play against all 3 members of her group. Throughout the round robin matches the world’s best women try to achieve a place in the semi-finals by finishing in the top 2 spots in their own group. On Day 5 the semi-finals are held where the players who finish at No.1 in their group play the player who finishes No.2 in the other group.
The WTA ranking points and prize money (in US dollars) for the women’s tournament is awarded to the players like this:
- The winner earns 1,500 points + $1,550,000 (if undefeated);
- The runner-up earns an extra 200 points added to how many matches she won + $780,000 if the only match she loses is the final;
- Any player other than the finalists who wins 3 matches earns 650 points + $400,000;
- Any player other than the finalists who wins 2 matches earns 530 points + $300,000;
- Any player other than the finalists who wins 1 match earns 370 points + $200,000;
- Any player who does NOT win a match earns 70 points for each match they lose + $100,000;
- A player who is called in as an alternate to replace an injured player earns 230 points if she WINS her match + $50,000; and
- A player who is called in as an alternate to replace an injured player earns 70 points if she LOSES her match + $50,000.
Please note that the tournament management can alter the schedule from day to day, in which case we will update you of any changes in later posts.
The schedule of play for the 2010 WTA Tour Finals singles event is:
- Tuesday 26 October: 3 Round Robin matches from 5pm;
- Wednesday 27 October: 3 Round Robin matches from 5pm;
- Thursday 28 October: 3 Round Robin matches from 5pm;
- Friday 29 October: 3 Round Robin matches from 5pm;
- Saturday 30 October: Women’s Semi Finals from 5m;
- Sunday 31 October: Women’s Singles Final from 5pm;
Stay tuned to this tennis website for full coverage of every Grand Slam tournament and every major women’s and men’s tennis tournament on the WTA and ATP Tours. Click this link for further details about the WTA Tour Finals -> WTA Tour Finals 2010: October 26-31.
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photo credit: Mister-E