WTA decides against hosting WTA Finals in Saudi Arabia, picks another location

After weeks of speculations and rumors, Saudi Arabia doesn't get the rights to host the WTA Finals in 2023.

by Dzevad Mesic
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WTA decides against hosting WTA Finals in Saudi Arabia, picks another location
© Getty Images Sport - Tom Pennington

The WTA Finals won't be taking place in Saudi Arabia after all as the WTA has announced Cancun as the host city for this year's edition of the season-ending tournament. In recent weeks and months, there were strong rumors indicating that Saudi Arabia would be selected as the host for this year's WTA Finals.

While some were open to the idea of hosting the WTA Finals in Saudi Arabia, there were also those who were strongly opposing the idea of hosting such a prestigious tournament in The Kingdom. In the end, the backlash was seemingly too big and the WTA decided to go another route.

Now, Cancun gets a one-year deal to host the WTA Finals from October 29th - November 5th.

The WTA picks Cancun, opts not to stage the WTA Finals in Saudi Arabia

“I would like to extend my appreciation to the Cancun tournament organizers GS Sports Management for their commitment in hosting the WTA Finals this year.

This edition of the WTA Finals will provide a fantastic experience for players and fans alike, offer a fitting finale for the 2023 Hologic WTA Tour and enable us to continue building a strong future for women’s tennis," WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement.

So far, three players have sealed spots for the WTA Finals - Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina. In the last couple of weeks, many top players were asked to share their thoughts on the possibility of playing the WTA Finals in Saudi Arabia.

Sabalenka, who will be the new world No 1 on Monday, said she would be okay with the WTA Finals taking place in Saudi Arabia. "Well, first of all, from what I know, nothing has been confirmed. I always love playing in the WTA Finals.

This year I want to do a little bit better than last year. But right now my focus is here, the US Open. So I'm trying to stay focused at the US Open. Whatever decision they're going to make, I'm happy to go - how to say - wherever (smiling)," Sabalenka said at the US Open.

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