The Unprecedented Journey
Founder Billie Jean King had a dream for all strong women and her determination had pushed that dream into greater heights. She followed her vision by opening a floodgate of inspiration and opportunities for the athlete women we know today. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is a product of that inspiration. It serves as a home for women tennis players all across the globe and helps them realise their dreams of success in matters of sports. It is about hitching those great athlete dreams through sweat and racquets. It is about tennis courts, tournaments, rankings and grand slam titles. It is about breaking barriers and shaping inspiring female tennis players.
More than 40 years have passed and countless tennis titles have won. These were the paths created by King and his spectacular symbolic performance back in her days. WTA is fighting an unceasing battle but unlike the battle against men players during 1970s, today becomes a battle for women players’ dreams. The past years have been a glimpse of general success for WTA’s career. Let’s take a look.
2000 – WTA continuously gained more sponsorship from bigger companies including Sanex.
2001 – Tour prize purse increased to $50 million for 63 tennis events which included Middle Eastern tournaments and while other WTA members continuously garnered grand slam titles, Jennifer Capriati staged a fairy tale comeback for claiming two grand slam crowns.
2002 – Unbeatable sisters Venus and Serena reigned this year by topping world tennis records in February and July respectively.
2003 – Kim Clijsters was the first woman athlete to claim $4 million earnings in one season. Serena Williams completed her famous “Serena Slam” and WTA significantly launched a meaningful marketing ad called “Get In Touch With Your Feminine Side.”
2004 – The tiger year for award-winning Russian tennis players. This introduced Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova. Their names were later on recognised for their huge contributions in the field of tennis. Whirlpool also boarded as the premier sponsor for European tours.
2005 – As if massive sponsorship from big companies weren’t enough, Sony Ericsson worked with WTA and became the worldwide title sponsor bringing in a six-year, $88 million contract. This was the biggest brand sponsorship ever bestowed on female sports history.
2006 – With Sony Ericsson coming into the picture, grand changes started to take place as it placed WTA at the forefront of innovation by recreating it into a more interactive stance. On-court coaching was developed and a partnership with other companies such as Travelex and USANA Health Sciences emerged.
2010 – Sponsorships by this year were overflowing. Oriflame, Jetstar Airlines and Peak signed in while Sony Ericsson renewed a two-year contract.
2012 – Famous Maria Sharapova completed her career grand slam. Clijsters and Gisela Dulko announced their retirements while the Original 9 renegades were reunited at the Family Circle Cup event.
Presently, WTA has less than 3,000 players from all over the world. The prize money concludes at an astonishing amount of $118 million and increasing. This goes to show that King had won her fight and WTA is now heading to its unprecedented journey of success.