Game, set, world-class match-ups
World's top women tennis players start final showdown of 2022 in North Texas
While all eyes in Houston are on the Astros as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series, tennis fans also have an eye on North Texas.
Though not as famous as Wimbledon or the US Open, the WTA Finals will crown a new queen of the women's pro tennis tour in North Texas this week — and all are invited to court.
For the first time, Fort Worth hosts the prestigious year-end finale for the WTA, featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the world. Singles players vying for title, and their rankings, are:
No. 1 Iga Swiatek (Poland)
No. 2 Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
No 3 Jessica Pegula (United States)
No. 4 Coco Gauff (United States)
No. 5 Maria Sakkari (Greece)
No. 6 Caroline Garcia (France)
No. 7Aryna Sabalenka*
No. 8 Daria Kasatkina*
U.S. superstars Gauff and Pegula are also competing in doubles.
The prestigious year-end finale has been moved to Fort Worth from Shenzhen, China, for one year only, WTA officials say. It's the first time the contest has been staged in North Texas, and the first time it's in the United States in 17 years. The total prize money pool is $5 million.
Players assembled at Fort Worth's Hotel Drover for a celebration and "draw party" on Friday, October 28. (More on the groupings, draws, and prize money each player picks up throughout each round here.)
Each day in the first rounds, play starts at 3 pm, and both singles and doubles matches will be played. Friday through Sunday, play begins at 1:30 pm. The finals in both doubles and singles will take place at 5:30 pm and 8 pm respectively, Monday, November 7.
The initial order of play, on October 31 and November 1 is:
Monday, October 31
(1) Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) & Katerina Siniakova (Czech Republic) vs (8) Desirae Krawczyk (USA) & Demi Schuurs (Netherlands)
Not before 5 pm:
(3) Jessica Pegula (USA) vs (5) Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Not before 7 pm:
(2) Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) vs (7) Aryna Sabalenka
(3) Coco Gauff (USA) & Jessica Pegula (USA) vs (6) Yifan Xu (China) & Zhaoxuan Yang (China)
Tuesday, November 1
(4) Veronika Kudermetova & Elise Mertens (Belgium) vs (5) Lyudmyla Kichenok (Ukraine) & Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Not Before 5 pm:
(1) Iga Swiatek (Poland) vs (8) Daria Kasatkina
Not before 7 pm:
(4) Coco Gauff (USA) vs (6) Caroline Garcia (France)
(2) Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) & Giuliana Olmos (Mexico) vs (7) Anna Danilina (Kazakhstan) & Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
"I’m super excited to be in the finals," says top-ranked Swiatek. "I feel like it’s a celebration of what we’ve done in the past year. I’m just proud to be here."
The eyes of the tennis world will be on DFW, too. According to NBC5, the matches will be broadcast in 160 countries to a projected viewing audience of 900 million people. Find coverage at tennischannel.com.
(*Per WTA style, players native to Russia do not have their country listed.)