The biggest WTA Tour event of the European indoors season is played at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy in February.
WTA St Petersburg is the first Premier event of the WTA Tour season held in Europe and takes place in early February to the long run-up to the major events at Indian Wells and Miami. Many countries host indoor and outdoor hard-court events during February and March but the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy promises to shine among the best when its first edition is played in 2016.
The St Petersburg Ladies Trophy replaces Antwerp’s BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games, which itself replaced the Paris Indoors, two tournaments which have routinely crowned top players among their champions, including Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo. Top-20 players Caroline Wozniacki, Belinda Bencic and Ana Ivanovic are among the stars playing at the inaugural edition of WTA St Petersburg.
The second largest city in Russia and the capital during its imperial age, St Petersburg has been home to an ATP World Tour event since 1995 which has been won by the likes of Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Marat Safin, Andy Murray and Milos Raonic. The addition of the WTA St Petersburg event further raises the profile of tennis in St Petersburg in particular and in Russia in general as it joins the Kremlin Cup in Moscow – the final Premier event of the season held in mid-October – which has a history stretching back to 1994 and includes Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova among its champions in recent years.
Russia has become a formidable force in women’s tennis over the past two decades, with 2004 French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova among the shining lights of a company which also includes Grand Slam finalists Vera Zvonareva, Dinara Safina and Elena Dementieva, and the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy will showcase the past and future champions of Russian tennis when it takes place in early February.
WTA Tour tennis comes to St Petersburg for the first time when the inaugural edition of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy is played in 2016. The event takes place on indoor hard courts at the Sibur Arena and some of the best players in women’s tennis will be competing for ranking points as well as total prize money of $750,000.