The WTA Tour announced a plan to grow women’s tennis and allow female athletes the same opportunity to cash in as their male counterparts.
The goal of the tour is for there to be parity between the ATP and WTA Tours by 2033.
Part of the WTA’s plan is to expand the field of several tournaments, lengthening them from one week to two weeks. By doing this, the WTA and ATP will now align some of their top-tier tournaments on the calendar that are outside the four grand slam events.
The seven combined two-week events are slated to have equal pay by 2027. Other events should have equal pay by 2033, the WTA said.
One example of this is the Western and Southern Open held outside of Cincinnati. The tournament has been an ATP Masters 1000 event, making it a top-tier event outside of the grand slams.
The WTA previously had the Cincinnati Tournament as a lower-rung Premier 5 event. In 2024, it too will be a top-tier WTA 1000 event.
“Fifty years after the players found strength in unity, I’m proud the WTA continues to be a global leader focused on providing opportunities, and hope that women in other sports and walks of life are inspired by its example,” WTA Founder Billie Jean King said.
The changes mean there will be 10 WTA 1000 events and 17 WTA 500 events. The Cincinnati tournament will join Miami and Indian Wells, California as WTA 1000 events held in the U.S. Charleston, South Carolina, Washington and San Diego will host WTA 500 events.
“This game-changing moment for the Hologic WTA Tour will align both tournament and player interests and help current and future generations of female tennis players,” WTA Players’ Council member Donna Vekic said. “We are incredibly proud to be part of these developments and the legacy it will have on equal prize money.”