Shenzhen to host WTA Finals

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Shenzhen will replace Singapore as host of the prestigious WTA Finals from next year until 2028.

The event has been staged in Singapore since 2014 and the top eight female singles players and doubles teams in the world will return to the wealthy city-state at the end of this season.

It was announced by the WTA on Thursday that the event will remain in Asia for another decade, with prize money doubled to $14million.

A new state-of-the-art arena in Shenzhen will be the venue after bids from Manchester, Prague and St Petersburg were unsuccessful.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that the dynamic city of Shenzhen has been chosen to host the WTA Finals, the WTA's crown jewel season finale, for the next decade," said WTA chief executive and chairman Steve Simon.

"This will easily be the largest and most significant WTA Finals deal in the 45 years since the WTA was founded and promises to take the event to a spectacular new level."

Maria Sharapova welcomed the news as she prepares to face Angelique Kerber in a mouthwatering third round match at the Australian Open.

"I'm looking forward to it [being staged in Shenzhen]. I mean, the championships are being taken to a place that's willing to grow the sport and investing in the sport as much as it is.

"If you look at the numbers, and I think all of you in here, if you were a man or woman, you want to go to a place that's willing to invest in women's tennis. That's where we're headed to. They were the ones that put the money on the line.

"They are willing to grow our sport. They're willing to build a stadium, willing to accept the game and its level and the players. We want to go where the growth will be. I'm looking forward to seeing how it shapes up."

Caroline Wozniacki was crowned champion in the 2017 event.