Manchester in contention for WTA Finals

The English city of Manchester has expressed an interest in staging the Women’s Tennis Association’s season-ending Finals event from 2019.

The annual event, which currently takes place in Singapore, features the eight best female players of the year.

Singapore holds hosting rights until 2018 as part of a five-year deal with the WTA, which is seeking a destination for the event’s next cycle. Manchester is one of the cities the WTA is considering.

A WTA spokeswoman told UK news agency the Press Association: “We are talking to a number of venues that have indicated an interest in the WTA Finals event for 2019 and beyond.

“We're in the early stages of this process. Manchester is one of several destinations that have reflected an initial interest in learning more about the opportunity.”

This year’s event takes place from October 22-29. Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova (pictured) is the defending champion, having defeated Germany’s Angelique Kerber in last year’s final.

Singapore has staged the WTA Finals since 2014, with the event having been held in a number of cities since the turn of the century, including Istanbul, Doha, Madrid, Los Angeles and Munich. Until 2001, the tournament had only taken place in the US, with New York hosting from 1979 to 2000.

England already stages the Association of Tennis Professional’s (ATP) World Tour Finals, the men’s equivalent of the WTA Finals. London’s O2 Arena has hosted the event since 2009 and in November 2015 retained the rights until at least 2018 under a new three-year deal.