The InfrontRingier Sports & Entertainment and Octagon agencies have joined forces to organise a new Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event in Switzerland.
Starting from April 2017, the city of Biel/Bienne will host an annual indoor event at the national tennis centre of Swiss Tennis, the sport’s governing body in the country. Construction work on a new indoor arena is expected to be finished by February next year.
The as yet unnamed tournament has been granted International-level status by the WTA Tour, the women’s professional tennis circuit. The event will consist of 32 players in the singles competition, while there will be a draw of 16 for the doubles competition.
“We are very pleased that such a broad group of exceptional interests have aligned to create this new tournament,” Philip D. M. de Picciotto, founder and president of Octagon, said. “The marketing and media excellence of InfrontRingier, the esteemed status of Swiss Tennis, the world class talent of the Swiss players and the WTA's global leadership position in professional sport for women have enabled a mere idea to become a reality.”
InfrontRingier will market the event’s media rights in Switzerland, while the WTA will hold the international rights. The agency’s deputy managing director, Lukas Troxler, has been designated the role of tournament director. InfrontRingier will also open up the opportunity for a company to title sponsor the event.
The WTA Tour will return to Switzerland this summer following an eight-year absence when Gstaad hosts a clay-court tournament from July 11-18. The most recent top-tier women’s tournament in the country was the indoor Zurich Open in October 2008, which was won by Venus Williams.
The Gstaad tournament will precede the long-running Swiss Open men’s ATP World Tour event, which will take place the following week on the same courts.
Octagon currently represents Swiss players Martina Hingis (pictured right) and Belinda Bencic (pictured left).