See You In 2007!
2007 season to be highlighted by record-breaking prize money of over $62 million and capping of 62 event global schedule with continuation of Tour's season-ending Championships in world class sporting and cultural city of Madrid
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced its 2007 season schedule on Sunday, November 12, highlighted by the Tour's season ending Sony Ericsson Championships continuing in Madrid, record-breaking prize money of over $62 million, and a 62-event schedule that features a new tournament in Barcelona and a series of events in rapid growth markets for women's tennis such as China, India and the Middle East that complement the Tour's traditional strength in Europe and the United States.
Following very strong sponsor, fan, media and City of Madrid support for the 2006 Sony Ericsson Championships that have made this year's season-ending event a great success, including attendance for the week of over 53,000 spectators, the Tour has decided to award the 2007 Sony Ericsson Championships, at $3 million prize money one of the richest and most prestigious women's professional sports event in the world, once again to Madrid, Spain. The decision, which will see world class promoter Madrid Trophy Promotions continue as the Sony Ericsson Championships promotional partner, is an indication of the continued growth and popularity of women's professional tennis in Europe.
The Tour's 2007 calendar once again establishes women's professional tennis as one of the world's truly global sports, and one that reaches some of the hottest growth markets for sport and reflects the global makeup of the Tour's established and rising stars. New for 2007 and a sign of the rising popularity of women's tennis in Spain, is the Barcelona Kia tournament, set to be held the week of June 11. In addition to the traditional complement of events in the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Middle-East, the calendar again features two events in China and two events in India (all of which have been added in the past three years), two of the biggest growth markets for women's tennis.
"Hosting the 2007 Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid will once again ensure that the very best of women's professional tennis is on display in one of the world's great sporting capitals," said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "We have been incredibly impressed with the support and excitement from the business community, fans, media and city for the Tour's Championships, and could not think of a better home to again showcase our crown jewel event. The 2007 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar once again reflects the continued global expansion and investment in women's professional tennis."
"We are very pleased that the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has again given us their trust to host the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid next year. This is another big step for us towards our goal to host a combined women's and men's event in 2009," said Gerard Tsobanian, General Manager of Madrid Trophy Promotions, the company that manages both the Sony Ericsson Championships and ATP Masters Series event in Madrid.
"The 2006 Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid were a great success," said Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson. "We are very appreciative of the warm and friendly reception we have received from the city of Madrid, which has accepted us as one of its own. The passion, excitement and engagement of the fans at these Championships have been absolutely fantastic, and we look forward to coming back to Madrid next year."
The continuation of the Sony Ericsson Championships in the renowned European market of Madrid represents another upward turn for the storied Championships, which has been buoyed by the backing of Sony Ericsson, which is driving women's tennis toward innovative horizons in terms of cutting-edge technology, music, fashion and design since signing a landmark global title sponsorship with the Tour in January 2005. Since that time, women's tennis has seen significant growth and a rise in popularity, as evidenced by the Tour's many highly-marketable and internationally-recognizable star players, its increased attendance and television ratings and its recent haul of new marketing partners.
As in 2005 and 2006, the 2007 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour schedule features an extended off-season over prior years of seven weeks. Additionally, the 2007 calendar will mark the second year the Tour's Miami tournament, now known as the Sony Ericsson Open following Sony Ericsson's landmark title sponsor deal with the event, will offer equal prize money to women and men, in addition to being a mandatory entry event for all players who qualify by ranking.
The 2006 Tour schedule is comprised of 62 tournaments in 35 countries, and includes the Sony Ericsson Championships, 10 Tier I tournaments, 15 Tier II tournaments, 17 Tier III tournaments and 15 Tier IV tournaments, in addition to the four Grand Slam events.
The 2006 season kicks off the week of January 1 with the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts in Gold Coast, Australia and the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, and concludes with the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid, Spain the week of November 5.