The TEB PNB Paribas Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour Championships kicks off on Tuesday in Istanbul's Sinan Erdem Sports Arena. In singles, the competition pits the world's eight top ranking female players and will have four top duos competing for doubles. Considered to be the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, second only to the Grand Slams, the TEB PNB Paribas WTA Tour Championships is considered to be the grand finale to the annual tennis season. The world's ranking number one player Serena Williams will have to contend against seven others of the world's greatest female tennis players to keep her title. This is the third and final time Istanbul hosts the WTA Championships, which will distribute a total six million dollars in prize money to the competition winners.
The world's ranking No. 1, the United States' Serena Williams will be competing against Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska, China's Li Na, Czech player Petra Kvitova, Italy's Sara Errani, Serbian Jelena Jankovic and German player Alman Angelique Kerber.
In doubles, competing in the season finale are: Sara Errani-Roberta Vinci (Italy), Peng Shuai (China)-Hsieh Su-Wei (Taiwan), Nadia Petrova (Russia)-Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia) and Ekaterina Makarova-Elena Vesnina (Russia).
The duos will play in semifinals held Saturday and will play a final match to determine the trophy winners on Sunday.
FINAL WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ISTANBUL
Considered to be one of the most prestigious competitions in women's' tennis, this will be the last TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships held in Istanbul. Next year, the WTA will be introducing a new format to be held in Singapore.
This year's aim is to break an audience record by hosting over 100,000 fans in the Sinan Erdem Sports Arena. In 2011, the first year Istanbul took on the hosting title, an audience of 70,000 came out to witness the event, marking one of the highest participation rates of any WTA championships. In 2012, the number of tennis-lovers that came out to witness the matches reached 73,072 and the Istanbul WTA became the highest viewed championship in television broadcasts. This year, the organization aims to far surpass previous figures by reeling in a record-breaking audience of 100,000.