The Women’s Tennis Association (or “WTA”) is the governing body of Women’s professional tennis.
The WTA was founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 and initially consisted of 9 players including Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Judy Dalton, Julie Heldman, Billie Jean King, Kristy Pigeon, Kerry Melville Reid, Nancy Richey, and Valerie Ziegenfuss.
One of the main reasons for setting up the association was to address the inequality in the amount of prize money awarded to male players at tournaments in comparison with female players at the same tournament.
In some cases, male players were being paid 12 times the amount being paid to female players.
Over the years, the WTA has fought to address the inequality in prize money and by 2007 all four grand slam events paid equal prize money to male and female players.
The WTA Tour
The WTA Tour is run by the Women’s Tennis Association and is the equivalent of the ATP Tour in the Men’s game.
The Women’s Tour shares a similar tournament structure to the ATP Tour with tournaments being split into different categories: Grand Slam, WTA1000, WTA500, WTA250, and WTA125.
The bigger the tournament, the more ranking points are awarded to the winner of the tournament with grand slam winners being awarded 2,000 points, with WTA1000 winners getting 1000 points, WTA500 getting 470 points, WTA250 winners getting 280 points and WTA125 winners getting 160 points.
There is also a year end championship where the top eight singles and doubles players who have scored the most ranking points in that year meet to compete in the WTA Finals, with the winner of the Finals winning up to 1,500 points.
Top Female Players (Singles)
Iga Swiatek from Poland is the current number 1 female player in the world and has held the number 1 ranking since the previous number 1 Ashleigh Barty retired in early 2022.
You can check out my 2023 WTA Ranking page for a list of the current top 100 female players in the world.
Female Grand Slam Winners
Similar to the ATP Tour, The Women’s Tour plays four grand slam events each year at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
Margaret Court currently holds the record for the most grand slam singles titles with 24 titles to her name.
The most successful player at the grand slams that is still active is Serena Williams who has won 23 grand slams, one behind the all time record set by Margaret Court.
You can check out our page on Women’s Grand Slam Winners if you want to find out more information on who has won the different grand slams over the years.
The Women’s Tour runs for around 11 months of the year from January to November with the WTA Finals in November marking the last big tournament played each year.
The Women’s Tour is truly global with tournaments being held in Europe, the USA, Canada, Central/South America, Africa, and Asia.
For more details on where and when Women’s Tournaments will be played in 2022, check out our 2022 WTA Tournament Schedule.