Tallinn Open director hoping for WTA tournament in Estonia again next year

Allar Hint, director of the WTA 250 Tallinn Open
Allar Hint, director of the WTA 250 Tallinn Open Source: ERR

WTA (Women's Tennis Association) Tallinn 250 Tournament Director Allar Hint confirmed that the Estonian Tennis Association (ETL) would like to organize a similar professional competition in Estonia next year. To do so, Estonia would have to submit an application to the WTA within the next month.

In May this year, the Estonian Tennis Association got the green light from the WTA to organize a tournament in Tallinn, with a prize fund of $250,000. That dream became a reality within just four months.

€400,000 of the tournament's total budget of €1.4 million was covered by the City of Tallinn. The government, which withdrew its backing for the tournament in February, supplied  €150,000 in funds via the Ministry of Culture.

Tournament director Allar Hint said, that, even before the final point was scored in the FORUS Tennis Center on Sunday evening, the coffers would already be empty. "There have been additional costs here this week, which were unforeseen. From ordering more cable, to additional transport. I think, in the grand scheme of things, we are at zero," he told ERR.

The tournament attracted a total of 16,695 spectators, with the highlight coming in the semi-finals, when the crowd finally got to see the first professional encounter between local stars Kaia Kanepi and Anett Kontaveit

However, not all those who bought tickets for the all-Estonian semi-final had a clear view of the court, due to the low gradient of the grandstand. Hint said that approximately 15 people complained about visibility issues as a result.

"Yes, the slope of the grandstand was not perfect, it was not good. Visibility was not the best in certain places. This is something we will need to find a better solution for next time," Hint said.

Over 5,000 specially certified tennis balls were used during the matches in the WTA Tallinn 250 Open, many of which will now be reused by local players in Estonia.

More than 350 people were involved in running the tournament, which was the first of its kind in Estonia and required a special one-off license from the WTA. However, Hint said, that the Estonia Tennis Association is keen to repeat the experience next year.

"I very much hope that the tournament be here again with us next year," said Hint. "On our part, we will do everything we can to organize another tournament here in the future."

To do so, the Estonian Tennis Association will need to submit a request to the WTA within the next month, after which a decision will be made regarding the possibility of Estonia hosting another professional tennis tournament in the near future.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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