Tennis: Former world No.1 Sanchez-Vicario returns as ambassador for WTA Finals Singapore

SINGAPORE - Former world No. 1 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario will return as an ambassador for this year's BNP Paribas Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals Singapore, the WTA announced on Tuesday (May 31).

The 44-year-old Spaniard joins retired legend Martina Navratilova to promote the US$7 million (S$9.64 million) season-ending tournament, presented by SC Global.

Both women will participate in a mix of community and fan engagement activities including tennis clinics as well as appearances at the WTA Finals Fan Zone and the Racquet Club sponsor village during the Oct 23-30 event held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

During her illustrious career, Sanchez-Vicario won 29 singles titles, including four Grand Slams (three French Open and a US Open). She also captured 69 doubles titles, including six at the majors. In addition, she qualified for the year-ending WTA Finals 13 times.

She was in Paris for the ongoing French Open and said in a press conference at Roland Garros: "I had a great experience at the WTA Finals in Singapore last year - spectator support was fantastic and the atmosphere was electric.

"I am honoured to return as it gives me the opportunity to interact with the local fans and friends old and new, while doing my bit to give back to the sport I love."

Melissa Pine, WTA Asia-Pacific vice president and WTA Finals tournament director added: "Over the years, Arantxa has been an icon of women's tennis and a great ambassador of the sport. It is an absolute honour to have her back this year."

"Her love for the game has been one of the key reasons for her success, and we are really excited for her to bring that same passion to tennis fans at the WTA Finals in Singapore come October."

The WTA Finals will feature the season's best-performing eight singles players and the top eight doubles players.

World No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska won last year's edition, the second of five that will be staged in Singapore.