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WTA moves Belgian event to Russia

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has confirmed the addition of a second Russian event to its 2016 calendar.

The yet-to-be-named indoor tournament will take place at the Sibur Arena in the city of St. Petersburg during the week commencing February 8.

The Premier-level event, which will feature a total prize purse of $750,000 (€678,000), is to replace the existing Diamond Games tournament that has been staged in the Belgian city of Antwerp since 2002.

The tournament will be the second WTA event to take place in Russia, alongside the Kremlin Cup that has been staged at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow on an annual basis since 1994. This year’s Kremlin Cup will take place from October 19-24, preceding the end-of-season WTA Finals in Singapore.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive of Gazprom Export, which will co-organise the new event with the IMG agency, said: “We are excited about having the opportunity to host a WTA Premier event in St. Petersburg next year.

“We hope that the players will enjoy competing at the world-class Sibur Arena and enjoy Russian hospitality, while the fans get a chance to see some of the best women's tennis in the world.”