The WTA Finals are underway in the Chinese city of Shenzhen for the first time since the season-ending competition moved from Singapore.
The finals are set to take place until 3 November and will feature eight of the world's best female tennis players.
Bianca Andreescu, Ashleigh Barty, Belinda Bencic, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina will face off for a top cash prize of $4.7m if they finish the tournament undefeated. All eight will earn a participation fee of $385,000.
In terms of cash prizes, this competition is the most lucrative in the sport with a total of over £10m on offer. To put it into context, winners of the 2019 US Open won $3.8m, whilst the woman who wins the Shenzhen Finals, if undefeated, will go home with $4.7m.
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Steve Simon, the WTA’s CEO, has said: “There was a true commitment here, trying to do something about ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to women’s empowerment. It made a huge impression on us when we saw someone who didn’t just talk the talk.”
The eight women have been divided into two Purple and Red groups for a round-robin competition. The Purple Group includes US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Wimbledon winner Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina. Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic make up the Red Group.
Great Britain's Johanna Konta was forced to pull out of qualifiers for the competition following a knee injury and finishes her season 11th in the world. Serena Williams also misses out on joining the competition after being pushed out of the top eight rankings by Swiss Bencic.
The winners of the two groups will face off in the final on Sunday, 3 November, at 12:30 GMT.News Now - Sport News