One of tennis’ biggest tournaments could be heading to Manchester after representatives declared an interest in staging the WTA Finals from 2019.
The season ending event, featuring the best eight female players in the world, is currently held in Singapore.
But as it nears the final year of its current contract, WTA officials have began exploring options for a new host.
The WTA’s presence in Asia has expanded dramatically in recent years, but Europe now seems a more likely destination.
The WTA have confirmed that Manchester has emerged as a strong contender to stage the marquee tournament.
“We’re in the early stages of this process” said the WTA in a statement.
“Manchester is one of several destinations that have reflected an initial interest in learning more about the opportunity”.
London’s O2 Arena has successfully held the ATP Tour Finals, the men’s equivalent of the WTA event, since 2009.
With the success of the ATP Tour Finals in London, Britain is seen as a desirable destination for tennis.
Since the WTA finals typically attract lower audiences, the appeal of Manchester as a host city is easy to see.
Manchester Arena was the preferred choice for Great Britain’s 2015 Davis Cup semi-final.
But after a clash with a Florence and the Machine concert, the event was eventually held in Glasgow.
It is believed that the presence of Johanna Konta in the women’s top-10 rankings could also boost Manchester’s chances.
The WTA Finals began in 1972 and have also been held in the United States, Munich, Madrid, Doha and Istanbul.
The tournament has not been held in Europe since 2013.
But as seven of the world’s current top eight are European, there appears to be a strong case for bringing it back.
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