WTA chairman handed new deal

Updated: 2007-01-10 08:50

Larry Scott's contract as chairman and chief executive of the WTA Tour, governing body of women's professional tennis, has been extended by five years.

The tour said in a statement that American Scott, who has been in the role since 2003, had done an excellent job growing the women's game to record levels.

"He deserves great credit for this as well as for his leadership in leading the tour through the process of a major reform which will position the tour for long-term success," said Steve Simon, chairman of the WTA Tournament Council.

The WTA highlighted Scott's influence in signing an $88 million, six-year agreement with Sony Ericsson, the largest sponsorship deal in the history of women's sport.

Scott's plans to restructure the calendar are also on track, with applications from 57 tournaments for the 48 slots on the streamlined 2009 schedule.

"We are thrilled with the global tournament interest in being a part of the enhanced calendar called for under our Roadmap 2010 plans," said Scott.


"There is broad recognition a streamlined calendar that ensures consistent delivery of stars and rivalries to our fans and events, and that addresses the issue of player injuries and withdrawals, is the key to the future growth of women's tennis."

The final list of tournaments for 2009 are expected to be announced in March.

The Roadmap 2010 reforms were launched in November in response to a worrying rise in player withdrawals from events because of injury and fatigue.

The new proposals mean top players can play in fewer tournaments and have longer breaks after grand slam events, with the season also ending in October.

Interim changes have already come into force, including a reduction in the minimum amount of tournaments to be played by players who have been on the tour for 12 years or more.

Top players will also only have to player a minimum of 12 events this year instead of 13. That number will drop to 11 by 2009.

Players have shown widespread support for the reforms.

Speaking in Australia last week, former world number one Martina Hingis said: "Reducing the wear and tear on players is something that is necessary and needs to be done. I love the sport and want it to get better".

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