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The WTA Tour season comes to a thrilling conclusion at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai as 12 of the best players of the year face off.
Successor to the WTA Tournament of Champions held in Bali from 2009-11 and Sofia from 2012-14, the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai debuted in 2015 with a five-year sponsorship agreement as women’s tennis continues to expand in Asia and China. WTA Tournament of Champions include former world no. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who won in Bali in 2010 and 2011; Simona Halep, who beat another former world no. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, to claim the title in Sofia in 2013; and Andrea Petkovic, who beat 2015 US Open champion Flavia Pennetta in the Sofia final in 2014.
One of 13 WTA Tour events played in Asia, the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy welcomes women’s tennis to the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, located in the Pearl River Delta adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao, for the first time. Played the week after the WTA Finals Singapore sees the best eight players in the world face off for the season-ending championships title, the WTA Elite Trophy features a 12-player field made up of players ranked between world no. 9 and world no. 20 along with one wildcard. This means that players who have shone during the season but just missed out on qualifying for the WTA Finals Singapore can still showcase their form – and compete for a significant amount of ranking points and prize money – at the end of a successful year.
The players compete in four groups of three in a round-robin format, with the top player in each group advancing to the semifinals. The WTA Elite Trophy also features six doubles teams, who will compete in two round-robin groups of three with the winners of each group advancing to the final.
Offering 700 ranking points to the winner and a total prize pot of $2.5 million, and with China’s two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na serving as an ambassador, the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy is played on hard courts at the Hengqin International Tennis Center. The battles to claim this prestigious trophy, featuring a selected group of in-form players, are likely to be fierce as the WTA Elite Trophy is played in Zhuhai in early November.
Previously known as the Tournament of Champions
The Tournament of Champions allowed for an end of season spectacle including some of the best players that the WTA has to offer. The competition included eight players, two of which are wildcards. The other six are players who have won a WTA title during the season but have failed to qualify for the WTA Championships.
The event enjoyed its inaugural year in 2009. It was staged in Bali until 2011, before moving to Sofia in Bulgaria for 2012-2014. Past winners include Ana Ivanovic and Aravane Rezai.
Organisers had intended for this event to provide a showcase for up-and-comers in the WTA. The two wildcards weree sometimes granted based on past exploits, but wer usually designated for young talents who demonstrate the kind of ability that could lead to stardom.
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