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WTA Tournaments, Rankings, and More
Founded in 1973 with the intention of ensuring a better future for female players, the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) is now the main organizing body of women’s professional tennis.
The organization is in charge of the WTA Tour, the principal international tennis tour for professional female players. Basically, the WTA is in women’s tennis what the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is in men’s tennis.
Female tennis players were looking into the possibility of creating their own organization since the early days of tennis. The need for an association such as the WTA intensified once the Open Era started. In the late 1960s, professional tennis players were finally allowed to compete together with amateurs, the result of which was an increase in prize money. The trouble was that the money wasn’t distributed equally.
The first Wimbledon in the Open Era saw the prize money distributed in favor of men at the rate of 2.5:1. Billie Jean King, who won the 1968 Ladies’ Singles Wimbledon, received £750. In comparison, the winner of the Men’s’ Singles, Rod Laver, won £2,000.
Four years later, Billie Jean King was one of the leading figures in the establishment of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Since 1973, the organization has been constantly working on improving women’s tennis, with the main focus being equal pay.
One of the biggest milestones in the history of the WTA came decades after the organization was formed, when the organizers of major tournaments agreed on distributing the prize funds equally between male and female players. Today, equal pay in all major tennis events, including the four Grand Slams.
WTA Rankings Explained
Same as the ATP List is used for ranking professional male players, the WTA List is used for women’s tennis. Although the number of professional female tennis players is very high, not everyone is guaranteed a place in the WTA Rankings. As of 2020, there are 1,106 players on the list.
The player at the very top of the list is considered the best female player in the world at the moment. That is the reason why for every player, the goal is to get as high as possible in the rankings. In order to do that, they need to win ranking points, which are awarded to those who do well in tournaments governed by the WTA.
WTA Tour Tournaments
The 2020 WTA calendar will feature 60 tournaments, which are separated into several categories according to the prize money and the number of ranking points up for grabs.
Grand Slam Tournaments
There are four Grand Slams every year, namely the Australian Open, the Wimbledon, the French Open, and the US Open. Each of these tournaments has championships that are governed by the WTA. The winner of a Grand Slam Women’s Singles gets 2000 ranking points.
As the name of the tournament suggests, it is played once the season is over, usually featuring the top 8 players in the WTA Rankings. The player who wins the trophy gets to add another 1500 ranking points to the tally.
There is a total of 20 Premier Tournaments in which WTA players compete. Those events are separated into three sub-categories according to the number of ranking points they bring along.
There are four Premier Mandatory Tournaments, each with 1000 points reserved for the winner. Those events are considered elite, outshined only by the Grand Slams and the WTA Finals. The tournaments in question are Indian Wells Masters, Miami Open, Madrid Open, and China Open.
The Premier Five Tournaments are those where the winner gets 900 ranking points. In addition, there are also 12 events called Premier, in which the winner gets 470 points. These tournaments also come with a significantly smaller prize pool.
International WTA Tournaments
There are 32 tournaments that belong to this category. The prize money varies from tournament to tournament, but the number of ranking points the winners get is always the same (280 points). Some of the most famous International Tournaments include the WTA Auckland Open, the Mexican Open, and the Birmingham Classic.
WTA 125k Series
The number of WTA 125k Series events changes almost every year. Last year, for example, 11 tournaments of this kind were played. In 2020, WTA has already confirmed 16 events. As evident from the name, WTA 125k Series tournaments have a prize fund of about $125,000.
In the world of women’s tennis, the WTA is not the only association that organizes tournaments, there’s also the ITF, that is, the International Tennis Federation. Although the ITF is a separate organization to the WTA, the winners of ITF-organized events do get WTA points.
There are several hundred events organized by the ITF every year and most of them have the power to lift the players up in the WTA Rankings. There are some tournaments in which the winner gets as much as 150 ranking points. On the other hand, there are some ITF events with only 12 points reserved for the tournament winner.
The number of WTA matches per year is measured in thousands, meaning that there are plenty of betting opportunities. Almost every online sportsbook has women’s tennis events in the betting offer, with all sorts of betting markets to choose from. Although anyone can play on anything WTA-related, not everyone actually wins anything.
In order to be successful at WTA betting, one needs to invest a little bit of time and effort in learning about the sport. Your best shot at winning big on WTA betting is to fall in love with women’s tennis. Luckily, these matches often come with a lot of excitement, so it’s not hard to become a true fan.
One of your best allies in beating the bookmakers is the WTA List. The Rankings will give you a rough idea about the quality of a player. The higher a player is ranked, the more likely she is to win a match. Of course, the favorite is not always the player who ends up the match-winner, which is what makes betting on WTA so entertaining.
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