The 2021 WTA Finals, the season ending championships featuring the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race, has been moved from Shenzhen to Guadalajara in Mexico, and will be held from 8 November, the WTA announced in St Petersburg, Florida, on Monday.
We are delighted to announce the WTA Finals will be coming to Guadalajara this season and it is our immense honour to welcome the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams to Mexico for this highly respected event. Gustavo Santoscoy, WTA Finals Tournament Director
Ash Barty won the 2019 edition, the last to be held, capping off an incredible season that rocketed her to World No 1 that year on the back of her first Grand Slam triumph at the French Open.
The event, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return to its home in Shenzhen, China from 2022 through 2030.
In July, the WTA removed the Asian swing of tournaments from its calendar for a second successive year due to the pandemic, but had yet to determine the fate of this year’s WTA Finals where Barty will be the defending champion.
“I would like to extend my appreciation to the Guadalajara tournament organisers and Octagon for their commitment in hosting the event this season, and for helping the WTA write another exciting chapter in WTA Finals history,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO.
“We are excited to bring our showpiece tournament to the exciting and vibrant city of Guadalajara in this unique year.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to the Gemdale Corporation in Shenzhen for their cooperation and resilience, and we look forward to returning in 2022 to enjoy the WTA Finals over the next decade.”
Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, is considered the cultural centre of the country and has hosted various international sporting, film and entertainment events.
The city is no stranger to women’s tennis, where it also held a successful WTA 250 event in March earlier this year.
“We are delighted to announce the WTA Finals will be coming to Guadalajara this season and it is our immense honour to welcome the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams to Mexico for this highly respected event,” Tournament Director Gustavo Santoscoy said.
“We look forward to hosting the WTA Finals in 2021 and putting on a world class tournament in November for the millions of tennis fans around the globe.”
Remarking on the home of the WTA Finals, Eddy Liu, Co-Tournament Director of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen and CEO of Gemdale Sports, said, “Shenzhen remains honoured and committed to the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen and we look forward to welcoming the event back to China in 2022 to build upon the legacy after its first historic staging in 2019.”
The annual showpiece event had a prize purse of $14 million in 2019 when it was played in Shenzhen for the first time after ending a 5-year run in Singapore.
With the final Grand Slam of the season concluded over the weekend at the US Open, key results from several players has thrown the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals wide open with less than two months of the season remaining.
Aryna Sabalenka, a semi-finalist in New York, added 780 points to her tally to move up to No 2 on the Leaderboard and remains in pursuit of Barty, who occupies pole position.
Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who also made the last four at Flushing Meadows, leaps 7 places to sit at No 6 and, along with Sabalenka, is looking to qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time in singles.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu, courtesy of the 2,000 points earned following her remarkable win in New York, rises 123 places and is now in the No 14 position, just under 400 points away from the Top 8 qualification bracket.
In doubles, fresh from lifting their second title of 2021 at the US Open, the team of Samantha Stosur & Zhang Shuai enjoyed a surge up the Leaderboard to go from No 22 to No 4.
Meanwhile Coco Gauff & Catherine McNally, who were runners-up in New York in what was their first Grand Slam final, break into the Top 8 to sit at No 6.
The BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open 2021 and the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz represent lap number 30 on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals, a reference to qualifying tournaments leading into the WTA Finals.
The Top 8 singles players and doubles teams of 2021 will secure their spot at the year-end finale.
The singles winner of the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals – the player who finishes in pole position leading into the WTA Finals – will not only seal a spot at the season-ending showpiece, but also be congratulated with the keys to a new Porsche.