Billie Jean King Kicks Off WTA Finals Singapore Finale

SINGAPORE (March 8, 2018) – The finale campaign of the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global kicked off today at the National Gallery in Singapore, and tennis legend Billie Jean King joined event organizer and promoter Lagardere Sports and the WTA to lead the celebrations.

The launch of the campaign marks the countdown to the last edition of the WTA Finals to be held in Singapore, which is set to take place on October 21-28 at the Singapore Sports Hub. The event also kicked off sales for tickets to the Racquet Club, the award-winning premium hospitality offering at the WTA Finals. In addition, Lagardere Sports announced a fundraising initiative as a part of Advantage Singapore: The Final Serve, a programme dedicated to community engagement efforts.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, King led close to 200 representatives of the WTA Finals Singapore, including volunteers, partners and ball kids, local female heroes as well as members of international and local women’s groups to celebrate the achievements of women. A human formation of the WTA Finals Billie Jean King trophy was created – symbolizing people from different backgrounds coming together in a show of support for women’s empowerment.

This was followed by a panel discussion around this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Press for Progress,’ with three local female heroes: Joanne Soo, a member of Singapore and Southeast Asia’s first all-women team to summit Mount Everest, motivational speaker and entrepreneur; Nurul Baizura, co-vice-captain of the national netball team and teacher-therapist; and Beatrice Chia, award winning theatre director, entrepreneur and working mother.

"With the investment and growth of the WTA Finals during its tenure here, Singapore has set the bar high in the charge for empowering girls and women to achieve the best that they can,” King said during the launch. “The women who shared the stage with me today are fine examples of how Singapore has created a conducive environment for women to pursue their passions. Singapore should be very proud of what she has achieved as a nation, and I would like to personally thank everyone here for supporting women’s tennis and the WTA Finals.

“I hope Singaporeans will continue to contribute to building a country which believes in the power of women and that the rest of the world can look up to.”

In addition to a legendary career in tennis, King has been a champion and advocate of women’s empowerment, diversity, equality and inclusivity. Her founding of the WTA, uniting professional women’s tennis players in one tour, was groundbreaking and revolutionary in its charge to create a better future for women in sport.

Today, the WTA Finals celebrates the achievements of the greatest in women’s tennis. The Singles and Doubles players work their way throughout the season on the Porsche Race to Singapore to secure a prestigious spot amongst the top eight in the world.

In 2014, Singapore brought the WTA Finals to Asia-Pacific for the first time, allowing fans around the region to witness the greatest in women’s tennis live in action, and to be inspired by their stories.

Through its support of the WTA Finals, Singapore has also contributed significantly to raising the profile of women’s tennis in Asia-Pacific and beyond, growing participation, interest and popularity of the sport. In 2017, records were set with 133,000 people attending the ten-day festival of sport and lifestyle entertainment and 27.8 million social video views by fans around the world.

Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals said, “It is a truly special occasion on a day like International Women’s Day to be able to gather all the people who have helped to make the WTA Finals the successful event it has been over the last four years. To have our WTA Founder Billie Jean King here, who has been a monumental catalyst for equality and social change, makes it even more significant.

“I hope that Singaporeans will continue to support women’s tennis and I look forward to welcoming you all to the best WTA Finals yet this October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.”