The Women’s Tennis Association (or “WTA”) is the governing body of Women’s Professional tennis and the WTA Tour.
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 WTA was to address the inequality in the amount of prize money awarded to male tennis players at tournaments in comparison with female tennis 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 tennis 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 WTA Tour shares a similar tournament structure to the ATP Tour with tournaments being split into different categories: Grand Slam, WTA 1000, WTA 500, WTA 250, and WTA 125.
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 WTA 1000 winners getting 1000 points, WTA 500 getting 470 points, WTA 250 winners getting 280 points and WTA 125 winners getting 160 points.
There is also a year end Championships where the top eight WTA players who have scored the most ranking points in that year meet to compete in the WTA Finals, with the winner of the WTA Finals winning up to 1,500 points.
Top WTA Players (Singles)
You can check out my 2022 WTA Ranking page for a list of the current top 100 female players in the world.
WTA Grand Slam Winners
Similar to the ATP Tour, The WTA 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.
WTA Tournament Calander/Schedule
The WTA 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.