The WTA announced on Tuesday that Fort Worth, Texas, will host the 2022 season-ending WTA Finals from 31 October – 7 November under a one-year agreement, the event returning to the United States after an absence of 17 years.
The Dickies Arena and the city of Fort Worth has a proven track record of hosting world-class sporting and entertainment events, and we are excited to bring the WTA’s showpiece tournament back to the United States for the first time since 2005. This location and venue for the 2022 WTA Finals will provide a fantastic experience for players and fans alike and offer a fitting finale as another exciting season on the Hologic WTA Tour comes to a close. Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO
The tournament was last held at the Staples Arena in Los Angeles, from 2002-2005, and has since been held in several cities, including Madrid, Doha, Istanbul and Singapore.
Last year’s Finals were held in Guadalajara, Mexico instead of the planned Shenzhen in China after the WTA suspended its tournaments due to concerns over the treatment of former doubles World No 1 Peng Shuai, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a resounding success in Mexico, despite still being under restrictions due to the pandemic last year, and it was initially assumed that the tournament would return there this year, but this has turned out not to be the case.
The tournament was set to return to Shenzhen from 2022 until 2030 but the WTA extended its suspension this year as it remains unconvinced that Peng is free and healthy after having accused a top Chinese official of sexual abuse.
China has not hosted a single tournament this year but, according to the WTA, the year-end finale, featuring the Top 8 singles players and doubles teams in the Race to the WTA Finals, will return to Shenzhen in cooperation with long-term partner Gemdale next year.
Meanwhile, it will be held at the state-of-the-art Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.
“The Dickies Arena and the city of Fort Worth has a proven track record of hosting world-class sporting and entertainment events, and we are excited to bring the WTA’s showpiece tournament back to the United States for the first time since 2005,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO.
“This location and venue for the 2022 WTA Finals will provide a fantastic experience for players and fans alike and offer a fitting finale as another exciting season on the Hologic WTA Tour comes to a close.”
Since opening its doors in late 2019, Dickies Arena has hosted top-notch concerts and sporting events, including Paul McCartney, Michael Bublé and KISS as well as the NCAA Men’s Basketball first and second Rounds, the US Gymnastics Championships and Bassmaster Classic.
The arena continues to bring incredible shows to Fort Worth such as the Eagles, Post Malone, Chris Stapleton, George Strait plus many more still to come this year.
Controversy, though, continues to surround the standings in the Race to the WTA Finals because of the stripping of points from The Championships at Wimbledon this year, where Russian and Belarusian players were excluded due to the unprovoked war in Ukraine.
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina has been particularly outspoken about the unfairness of this action, which has affected many players on the WTA Tour and is being excluded from participating in the finals although she should be placed second in the race.
For the singles, a player’s result from the 4 Grand Slams, the 4 WTA 1000 events with 1,000 points on offer for the winner, and the best results from 2 WTA 1000 tournaments with 900 points for the winner must be included, but Wimbledon’s results this year are excluded.
Point totals are calculated by any combination of 11 tournaments throughout the year for the doubles teams.
So far World No 1 Iga Swiatek is the only player who has booked her ticket in the season-finale, with the Pole qualifying on the back of winning the French Open and winning 4 WTA 1000 events.
Swiatek has 7,990 and is followed by Ons Jabeur on 3,626 points, with the Tunisian having won 1 WTA 1000 and 1 WTA 500 tournament.
Jabeur also reached the final of Wimbledon, but these points are not counted.
American Jessica Pegula is third on the back of reaching the quarter-final of the Australian Open, French Open and US Open, while Wimbledon finalist Coco Gauff is fourth following her run to the French Open final.
Daria Kasatkina, Simona Halep, Caroline Garcia and Aryna Sabalenka complete the provisional top 8 but these standings can still change as Maria Sakkari, Veronika Kudermetova, Paula Badosa, Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic are not too far off the running order.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza is the defending champion, but the Spaniard is out of contention as she is down in 54th place, while Ash Barty, the 2019 champion, retired earlier this year, and Elina Svitolina will also not feature as she is currently on maternity leave.