Tennis: Chris Evert returns as official ambassador for WTA Finals Singapore

SINGAPORE - The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Monday that International Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert will return as an Official Ambassador for the 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, presented by SC Global.

This year's WTA Finals features a record US$7 million (S$9.7 million) purse and includes an expanded format featuring eight days of competition taking place from Oct 23 to Nov 1. The event will be hosted in Singapore through 2018.

Evert will support and promote the "Road to Singapore", a season-long campaign which will follow the WTA stars and WTA Rising Stars on their quest to qualify and compete in the season finale.

The 60-year-old won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and was unanimously elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. She is a four-time WTA Finals champion, and her career winning percentage in singles matches of 89.96 per cent is the highest in the history of Open Era tennis, for men or women.

"I am so excited to return to Singapore," said Evert. "I was blown away last year by the enthusiasm and support of all the fans. The bar has been set high, but I am looking forward to an even bigger and better event this year."?

"Each and every match of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is like a Grand Slam final, as evidenced by the fact that the WTA Finals was the most-watched tournament of 2014,"? said Stacey Allaster, WTA chairman and chief executive officer. "Once again, we look forward to bringing together the past, present and future for a celebration of the world's best tennis players who have power to inspire many generations to come."

The current Road to Singapore leaderboard is comprised of the following players (as of March 9) : 1. Serena Williams 2. Maria Sharapova 3. Simona Halep 4. Kristina Pliskova 5. Ekaterina Makarova 6. Venus Williams 7. Caroline Wozniacki 8. Petra Kvitova. The leaderboard is updated each Monday and can be found at www.wtafinals.com.

Singapore became the ninth city to host the WTA Finals, joining Boca Raton (1972-73), Los Angeles (1974-76, 2002-05), Oakland (1978), New York City (1977, 1979-2000), Munich (2001), Madrid (2006-07), Doha (2008-10) and Istanbul (2011-13).