But the most important issue in women’s tennis now’s financial stability. Despite the WTA adding Hologic as a title sponsor earlier this 12 months, the lack of revenue from China has forced the tour to operate at a deficit all season. Earlier this 12 months, Saudi Arabia tried to step in and make an investment, just like the one which it made in men’s golf in the shape of the LIV tour, however it was rebuffed.
To rebuild its financial house, the WTA is ready to announce that CVC Capital Partners, a personal equity firm based in Luxembourg, is investing $150 million over the subsequent five years to carry a 20 percent stake within the tour.
Simon, the WTA chairman and chief executive, declined to be interviewed in regards to the deal, saying in an emailed statement, “The WTA can confirm we’re in exclusive discussions with CVC Capital Partners regarding a strategic agreement, which might strengthen women’s tennis and support the ambitious growth of the tour.”
Much of that cash would go toward equalizing prize money between the WTA and the ATP.
Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. Opens offer equal prize money to men and girls, as do major combined tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. But in Rome, for instance, although the lads and girls play side by side, Novak Djokovic, the lads’s champion last 12 months, earned almost $900,000 while women’s winner Swiatek took home lower than half that.
“In Miami, equality is a given,” said James Blake, a former player and the present tournament director for the Miami Open. “It’s goes back to Venus [Williams] when she fought for equal prize money at Wimbledon. We even have equal time for men and girls on the show courts, equal practice courts, even equal locker rooms. I’m very pleased with that.
“The lads could also be a much bigger draw right away, but the ladies could be next 12 months,” Blake added. “We’d like to all work together equally. A rising tide raises the entire ships.”
Simon has been the chief executive of the WTA Tour since 2015. Assuming that the cope with CVC goes through, Lawler, the WTA president, said that he would remain chairman of the WTA Tour and he or she would stay on as president. But CVC will add its own executive, one other administrative position in a company than can sometimes resemble a seven-layer cake. Since its inception in 1973, two women, Anne Person Worcester and Stacey Allaster, have served as chief executives of the WTA.