WTA Biel

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The Ladies Open Biel Bienne brings the WTA Tour’s spring hard-court season to a close in Switzerland in early April.

First played in 2017, WTA Biel replaced the Katowice Open on the calendar and is played in the weeks following the major spring hard-court events of Indian Wells and Miami in early April. The Ladies Open Biel Bienne offers the top players of the WTA one last chance to compete on hard courts – the preferred surface for many of them – before the focus of the tour switches to clay courts and the build-up to the French Open.

WTA Biel joins WTA Gstaad as welcome additions to the WTA calendar, celebrating the strength of Swiss women’s tennis on both hard courts and clay courts. And there has never been a better time to celebrate women’s tennis in Switzerland – with Martina Hingis at the top of the doubles tour, and Timea Bacsinszky and young stars Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic lighting up the court in singles. 

The bilingual city of Biel-Bienne sits on the language boundary between the French- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland – Biel is the German name for the city, and Bienne its French counterpart. Until 2005, the town was officially known as Biel/Bienne and became just ‘Biel’ in 2005, but is still commonly referred to by both names. Biel-Bienne sits at the foot of the Jura mountains on the northeastern shores of Lake Biel – a picturesque setting for a top-level WTA tournament.

Switzerland formerly played host to a prestigious WTA tournament in Zurich between 1984 and 2008, which included Steffi Graf, Hingis, Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams among its champions, and holds ATP World Tour events in Geneva, Gstaad and Basel over the course of the year. 

In 2017, WTA Biel replaced the Katowice Open on the WTA calendar as a significant stop on the WTA Tour. Itself the successor to the Danish Open, WTA Katowice was played for four years – three of them as a hard-court event – and included 2015 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci and 2016 WTA Finals Singapore champion Dominika Cibulkova among its champions. 

An International-level event played on indoor hard courts at the Swiss National Tennis Centre, the Ladies Open Biel Bienne offers prize money of $226,750 and features a singles draw of 32 players as well as a doubles draw of 16 teams. The tournament is partly being put on by Octagon, the global sports marketing and management agency which counts Hingis and Bencic among its clients. The inaugural 2017 edition of the Ladies Open Biel Bienne featured home favourites Martina Hingis, Belinda Bencic, Timea Bacsinszky and Viktorija Golubic alongside French starlet Kristina Mladenovic, Roberta Vinci, Alize Cornet and Barbora Strycova.

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