WTA Gstaad

Highlighting the late-summer return to clay, the Ladies Championship Gstaad brings top-class women’s tennis to the Swiss Alps.

For those whose appetite for top-flight tennis has been whetted by Wimbledon and who are craving more after the end of the grass-court season, fear not – the WTA Tour continues its journey round the world, making an immediate stop in Switzerland for the Ladies Championship Gstaad.

Played the week after Wimbledon, WTA Gstaad is one of the tournaments which see the women of the WTA make a return to clay-court tennis after the heady delights of the grass-court season. With the rich red clay of Gstaad basking in the July sunshine, the International-level tournament offers top women’s players who prefer clay or are perhaps looking to shake off a disappointing Wimbledon result the chance to compete on the terre battue once more before the WTA Tour moves on to the hard courts of North American and Asia.

Tennis in Switzerland has a rich history and so does the Ladies Championship Gstaad, whose origins go back as far as 1969 when the tournament was first played in Gstaad under the name the Swiss Open Rosie Casals and Virginia Ruzici were among the women who triumphed at the Swiss Open during its nine editions in Gstaad, with the tournament moving to Lugano in 1981 where Chris Evert won back-to-back titles. 

The Swiss Open was played in Geneva from 1987, when Chris Evert was the champion again, to 1991 before moving to Lucerne, where Lindsay Davenport won back-to-back titles in 1993-4. Then the tournament wasn’t played for some years before being revived in 2016 by the contemporary WTA Tour, who moved the event back to Gstaad as a summer clay-court event.

Now played at the Roy Emerson Arena, the 4,500-set stadium named after 12-time Grand Slam champion and Australian legend Roy Emerson who won the men’s event in Gstaad five times, the Ladies Championship Gstaad returned in triumph in 2016, with Swiss stars Timea Bacsinszky and Patty Schnyder and former world no. 1 Jelena Jankovic among the players featuring in the draw. Homegrown star Viktorija Golubic captured the title, defeating the 2016 French Open semi-finalist Kiki Bertens in the final.

Featuring a 32-player singles draw and 16-pairing doubles draw, the Ladies Championship Gstaad offers $226,750 in prize money as well as ranking points to its champions and the picturesque Alpine setting draws many of the WTA’s top players to WTA Gstaad to compete on the red clay of Europe once more. 

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