Women’s Tennis Association celebrates 50th anniversary at Dubai championship



The Women’s Tennis Association, the principle organizing body of women’s professional tennis, has joined hands with the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to mark its 50th anniversary.

WTA players, coaches and officials teamed up with championships representatives and tournament staff to form a human “50” on Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium’s center court at this year’s event, which runs until Feb. 25 and features 17 of the world’s top-20 female players.

Canadian ace Leylah Annie Fernandez, the World No. 39, was one of the players to take part in the landmark celebration.

“Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the WTA here in Dubai means a lot to me,” she said. “I am super honored and proud to be a part of the WTA and to hopefully inspire young women to achieve their dreams. I think the WTA has been doing a great job in the past few years. It has a long way to go, but we are on the right track.”

Salah Tahlak, joint COO and tournament director of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, said: “The WTA commemorating its 50th anniversary here in Dubai is quite amazing. The organization is a role model for other sporting bodies to follow in improving the sporting landscape for women around the world and promoting equality and inclusion for all.”

The WTA was established on June 21, 1973, on the eve of Wimbledon Championships, with the goal of promoting fairness and equality in women’s sports. The organization governs the WTA Tour, the worldwide professional tennis tour for women. Today, the WTA has more than 2,500 players from 100 countries with more than 50 tournaments held annually across six continents.