SINGAPORE - The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore will stage its second edition in Singapore from Oct 23-Nov 1 with more fan engagements activities in the lead-up to the event this year.
The prestigious US$7 million (SS$9.56 million) season-finale, presented by SC Global, will include an expanded eight days of competition while events like the WTA Legends Classic, WTA Rising Stars Invitational and WTA Future Stars Finals competitions will continue to be held alongside the main event.
A first-ever gala event on Oct 30 will also be held this year to celebrate the annual achievements of the best players on the women's professional Tour.
World No. 3 Simona Halep of Romania was in Singapore on Wednesday to help launch this year's edition at the ArtScience Musem at Marina Bay Sands.
A finalist at last year's edition, Halep recalled of her experience: "I felt like I was home because I had many fans in the crowd supporting me. They gave me power to compete very well at a high level. This place (Singapore) means a lot for me."
This year, organisers have also introduced a fan engagement programme called "Advantage Singapore". It will feature fan experiences, a series of learning activities and various training programmes aimed to cultivating an enduring tennis legacy in Singapore.
Workshops will be conducted at selected primary schools to educate students about the science and technology in the professional world of tennis, as well as share sportsmanship values that have been embodied by stars such as Billie Jean King and world No. 1 Serena Williams.
Training programmes will also help equip the youth with skills such as playing techniques to understanding on-court protocol.
The official Fan Festival, which will start on Oct 23, will also have its Fan Zone expanded to include interactive games, sport challenges and appearances by star players.
Melissa Pine, vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific and tournament director of the WTA Finals said of the Future Stars programme: "Through this initiative, girls from the next generation are able to compete for a chance to play alongside the best in Singapore and aspire one day to play in the WTA Finals themselves. Singapore is attracting the eyes of the world."
Tickets for the general public will start at $16.90 and can be purchased through Sports Hub Tix. Visit www.wtafinals.com for more information.