The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) changed the game when it was founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King and has turned tennis into the pre-eminent global women’s sport. The WTA Tour is the global top-tier circuit of tournaments for the very best in the game.
This is the home for livetennis.com’s WTA Tour coverage. Find the latest news on the top players, tournament information, schedules and live streaming of WTA tennis right here throughout the year.
WTA Tennis Live Streaming
In almost every sport, it’s a lot more difficult to watch women’s matches live than it is to watch men’s matches.
This is not the case with tennis, where some of the biggest stars are women and which has equal prize money at its biggest events. Every WTA tournament throughout the season – and that’s nearly 70 of them – has live streaming available, generally from its two biggest courts although many events, especially the bigger and more prestigious, stream the action from every single court including ones where doubles is being played.
While most streaming services operate on a subscription basis and don’t generally show both WTA matches and Grand Slam matches – let alone including the likes of Fed Cup, Hopman Cup and ATP matches – major bookmakers have licensed the right to show all these events live for customers who want to watch and bet.
With a funded account or a live bet placed on the match, you can enjoy WTA tennis matches throughout the season, streamed live to your computer or device.
Watch and bet on WTA tennis live at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Watch & bet on WTA tennis
1. Visit the bet365 website
2. Sign into your account or register for a new one
3. Select Live Streaming
4. Select ‘Tennis’ from the ‘All Sports’ dropdown menu
5. Enjoy a live stream & in-play betting for WTA tennis
PLEASE NOTE: You must have a funded account or have placed a bet in the last 24 hours in order to watch tennis; geo-restrictions apply.
WTA Tournament Schedule
When Billie Jean King founded the WTA in 1973, it had nine members; these days the WTA boasts more than 2,500 players from 100 countries competing for around $146 million in prize money (and growing), as well as some of the best-known sports stars and female athletes on the planet.
The WTA Tour, the tournament circuit of the WTA, features 50-60 tennis tournaments played around the world in a ten-month season lasting from the first week of January to the first week of November.
These tournaments are divided into three types of ‘Premier’ event – Premier Mandatories, Premier-5s and Premiers – and WTA Internationals. There are also WTA 125s, a relatively new type of tournament designed to be a bridge between ITF tournaments and the WTA Tour (similar to the Challenger Tour in men’s tennis).
While the four Grand Slams and Fed Cup are not WTA events but are administered by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), these events are incorporated in the WTA tennis calendar.
The season begins in Australia, New Zealand and China, with two weeks of WTA tournaments for the players to warm up before the first major of the year – the Australian Open, played in Melbourne during the last two weeks of January.
The Australian Open is followed by the first round of Fed Cup as well as by a disparate set of hard-court events in February, including the Premier-level indoor hard-court St Petersburg Ladies Trophy and back-to-back Premier/Premier-5 events in Doha and Dubai, before the first two Premier Mandatory events of the season are played back-to-back at Indian Wells and Miami – the ‘Sunshine Double’.
Green clay in Charleston is the unusual setting for the start of the clay-court season, with Fed Cup semi-finals also intervening before the European clay season really gets going – the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Mutua Madrid Open at the Caja Magica, or ‘Magic Box’, in the Spanish capital (a Premier Mandatory) and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia played at Rome’s iconic Foro Italico (Premier-5) are all key stops in the road to Roland Garros for the French Open in late May/early June.
Three weeks of grass-court tennis follow, mainly played on British lawns which host the long-established and prestigious WTA tournaments in Birmingham and Eastbourne, before the third and biggest major of the year takes place at Wimbledon in July.
It’s back to American hard courts for San Jose, Washington, D.C. and New York as well as back-to-back Premier-5 events – the Rogers Cup, held in alternate years in Montreal and Toronto, and Cincinnati’s Western and Southern Open – before the US Open Series culminates in the fourth and final Grand Slam of the season: The US Open in New York.
The battle to qualify for the WTA Finals then takes centre stage throughout what has become a real showcase for women’s tennis, the Asian swing, with big events in Zhengzhou, Tokyo and Wuhan leading up to the last Premier Mandatory of the season, the China Open in Beijing. And for those still seeking to secure their spot, or who simply want to finish their season on a high note, there’s a last flurry of European indoor events culminating in the last Premier of the year in Moscow.
The eight best players of the year will then compete in round-robin duels at the season-ending championships, the WTA Finals, for the fifth biggest prize of the season – and perhaps the year-end world no. 1 ranking – with those who just missed out playing the inviting second-tier event in Zhuhai the following week to wrap up the WTA season before the Fed Cup final takes place in November.
WTA Calender 2020
Here are the dates for all upcoming WTA Tour events over the next 12 months. You can find more information about each event, including schedules, detailed tournament data and live streams, by clicking on the tournament name.
The WTA has now released its official calendar for 2020 so here is the complete schedule for the upcoming 12 months in women’s tennis.
The WTA Tour circuit is comprised of around 58 events played all around the world between January and November before a six-week off-season.
WTA tennis tournaments are divided into different tiers according to how much prize money and how many ranking points are available at each event, as well as the size of the draw and certain other criteria such as the size of the stadium court.
The basic division is between International and Premier events, with the latter further divided into Premier, Premier-5 and Premier Mandatory tournaments.
Some of these tournaments will be dual-gender events combined with ATP World Tour tournaments while others feature women only, or have WTA and ATP events played at different times of the year, sometimes in successive weeks.
The four Grand Slams, while they feature the same cast of players and seed competitors according to WTA rankings, are not technically part of the WTA Tour but are owned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). However, the Grand Slams do award WTA ranking points (2,000 to the champion).
The ITF is also responsible for Fed Cup and Olympic tennis. While these are not WTA Tour events, they are included in the WTA calendar.
WTA Premier Mandatories
The WTA Premier Mandatories are the four biggest events on the WTA calendar outside the four Grand Slams and the WTA Finals.
Each of the four Premier Mandatories are, as the name suggests, mandatory for players who are ranked high enough to appear in to play unless they have a valid medical reason – and with each tournament offering 1,000 ranking points to the winner and prize money of $4.5 million, no player willingly skips one of these prestigious events.
The four Premier Mandatories are, in calendar order, the BNP Paribas Open, also known simply by the name of its location, Indian Wells; the Miami Open; the Mutua Madrid Open; and the China Open in Beijing.
Indian Wells, Miami and Madrid are all combined with ATP Masters 1000 Series events, while the China Open is unique among the Premier Mandatories in that the ATP World Tour event played the same week is a smaller and less prestigious 500 event.
Three of the four Premier Mandatories are played on outdoor hard courts; the exception is Madrid, which is played on red clay.
WTA Premier 5s
Like the Premier Mandatories, Premier-5s were first created in 2009, replacing the Tier I-Tier IV system which preceded it.
The WTA tennis calendar currently features five Premier-5 events, with each one offering prize money of $2 million and 900 ranking points to the champion.
The five Premier-5 events on the WTA calendar, in order, are: Doha/Dubai in February; the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in May; the Rogers Cup in Montreal/Toronto and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, played back-to-back in August; and the Wuhan Open in late September.
Rome, the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati are all combined events which also feature ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Series tournaments.
In the case of the Rogers Cup, the tournament alternates between the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto year-on-year, with the men’s Masters 1000 Series event played in whichever city isn’t hosting the women.
In the case of Doha/Dubai, the Qatar Total Open in Doha and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships serve as the fifth Premier-5 in alternate years.
With the exception of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, which is played on European clay in May and forms a key part of the warm-up to the French Open, the other four Premier-5 events are played on outdoor hard courts.
While top players must play all four Premier Mandatories, they are supposed to play four of the five Premier-5s, and to play each Premier-5 at least once every other year.
The WTA tennis season also features 12 Premier events, which offer 470 ranking points to the champion and award prize money between $600,000 and $1,000,000.
Top-10 players are required to play at least two Premier events every season and often choose to play more, so top players are a frequent sight in these draws.
Premier events are held on all surfaces. Brisbane, Sydney, Doha/Dubai, San Jose, Zhengzhou and Tokyo are all played on outdoor hard courts, while St Petersburg and Moscow are played on indoor hard courts.
Charleston and Stuttgart are played on red and green clay respectively, while Birmingham and Eastbourne are significant grass-court Premier events.
In addition to the 12 Premier events, the WTA tennis calendar also features over 30 International events played on every surface throughout the year – the weekly staple of the WTA Tour, with at least one being played in 20 weeks of the season and sometimes as many as three a week.
WTA International events offer 280 ranking points to the champion and prize money of $250,000 (except in the case of Shenzhen and the Moscow International, which offer prize money of $750,000).
An International event typically features a 32-player draw, which may or may not offer byes for the top eight seeds depending on the tournament.
WTA top-10 players are only supposed to play one International tournament in either half of the season unless they have received an exemption.
The biggest event held on the WTA Tour is the year-end championship currently known as the WTA Finals.
Formerly known as the WTA Tour Championships or WTA Championships, the event has been played since the WTA itself was formed in 1972 and the champion’s trophy is named after WTA founder Billie Jean King. Nine different cities around the world – Boca Raton, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Munich, Madrid, Doha, Istanbul and Singapore – have hosted the WTA Finals, with the tournament due to be held in the Chinese city of Shenzhen from 2019 to 2028.
Since 2003, the tournament has taken its current format: Eight players divided into two groups of four, who then compete in round-robin matches over six days with the top two players in each group advancing to the semi-finals.
Players qualify for the WTA Finals by accumulating points throughout the calendar year, with the top eight progressing to the elite season-ending championship. These standings differ from the 52-week WTA rankings and are tracked separately.
The WTA Finals offer 1,500 points to the champion if they go undefeated in the round robin, with 125 points deducted for each round-robin defeat – substantially more points than it’s possible to gain by winning any other event outside the four Grand Slams. Prize money currently stands at $7,000,000.
Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina have all claimed the WTA Finals title in recent years, but no player has been more successful at the WTA Finals than Martina Navratilova – she won the singles title eight times between 1978 and 1986 (and reached the final an additional six times as well).
The WTA tennis calendar also features a second-tier year-end championship known as the WTA Elite Trophy, currently held in Zhuhai, which features 12 players and is the final official event of the WTA season. In 2019, the WTA Elite Trophy will be held the week before the WTA Finals so that the top-tier year-end championships will be the climactic event of the season.
The WTA rankings are the objective, merit-based system whereby tournaments determine player entries and player seedings, with the WTA releasing weekly rankings based on how players have performed over the past 52 weeks.
It seems unimaginable now in this era of professional tennis, but women players used to be ranked subjectively by various entities including tournament directors, national federations and even journalists.
That all changed in November 1975 when the WTA introduced computerised rankings.
Chris Evert was the first woman to be ranked world no. 1 on 3 November 1975. In total, 25 women have been ranked world no. 1 in singles.
With points awarded for each match a player wins and the amount of points varying according to the round reached and the category of the tournament, the WTA rankings are based on a rolling 52-week period. A player’s ranking is determined by the total points earned at her best 16 tournaments from the past 52 weeks.
The best 16 results are counted but must include:
• The four Grand Slams
• The four Premier Mandatories
• The WTA Finals (if applicable)
• For top-20 players, the two best Premier-5 results
WTA ranking points are no longer awarded for Olympic or Fed Cup tennis but the Grand Slams not only award them, but use the WTA rankings as the basis for seeding the players.
Most WTA singles titles
Martina Navratilova won 167 WTA singles titles during her career, narrowly leading her great rival Chris Evert who is in second place with 157 WTA singles titles. Serena Williams has the most of any active player, having won 72 WTA singles titles.
Most titles at a single WTA tournament
Martina Navratilova holds the record for most titles at the same tournament, having won Chicago 12 times between 1978 and 1992 – closely followed by her own record at Eastbourne, where she won 11 titles between 1978 and 1993.
Most titles in a single WTA season (Open Era)
Margaret Court leads the way in this category with 21 WTA singles titles claimed in the single season of 1970. She is also tied for second with 18 titles in 1969 and 1973 respectively.
Most WTA singles matches played
No one in history has played more WTA singles matches than Martina Navratilova, who played 1,661. She is followed by Chris Evert on 1,448 and Virginia Wade on 1,168.
Among active players, Venus Williams holds the distinction of most WTA singles matches played with 1,053.
Most WTA singles matches won
Martina Navratilova has won more WTA singles matches than anyone, having won 1,442 in her career, followed by Chris Evert on 1,304 and Steffi Graf on 900.
Among active players, Serena Williams has won the most matches, with 820.
Longest winning streaks
Unsurprisingly, it is Martina Navratilova who holds the record for longest WTA winning streak, claiming 74 wins in a row in 1984.
Most WTA Finals singles titles
Martina Navratilova won the WTA Finals eight times between 1978 and 1986, followed by Steffi Graf and Serena Williams, who both won it five times.
Weeks at world no. 1
Steffi Graf holds the record for longest reign as world no. 1 with 377 weeks spent at the top, followed by Martina Navratilova on 332 and Serena Williams on 319.
Youngest WTA world no. 1
Martina Hingis was aged 16 years and 152 days when she became world no. 1 on 1 March 1997.
Oldest WTA world no. 1
Serena Williams was aged 35 years and 224 days when she last ranked as world no. 1 on 8 May 2017.
Lowest-ranked player to defeat a world no. 1
Zhang Shuai of China was ranked world no. 226 when she defeated then-world no. 1 Dinara Safina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Youngest player to win a WTA singles title
Tracy Austin was aged 14 years and 28 days when she won Portland in 1977.
Oldest player to win a WTA singles title
Billie Jean King was aged 39 years, 7 months and 23 days when she won the Edgbaston Cup in 1983.
Most prize money
Serena Williams leads the all-time prize money with $84,525,911 won during her career, followed by Venus Williams ($40,452,418) and Maria Sharapova ($37,205,769).
Serena Williams also holds the record for most prize money won in a single season, claiming $12,385,572 in 2013 (she is also runner-up for her 2015 season, which netted her $10,582,642).