No WTA tennis tournament will take place in Tallinn this year
Last year, Estonia hosted a WTA (Women's Tennis Association) tennis tournament for the first time. Despite its success, the WTA 250 Tallinn Open will not take place again this year due to the difficulty in organizing a tournament of that caliber without considerable financial support from the state.
The Estonian Tennis Association (ETL) said, that, while it had attempted to obtain financial support from the state to support the organization of the tournament in 2023, it had not received a positive response in time to proceed further.
In a press release, the ETL said, that without substantial state support, it would not be possible to organize an international tournament of this caliber in Estonia.
"The WTA offered us a three-year contract. However, in the current situation it is very difficult to find sponsors who would be willing to provide such long-term support without the certainty of a contribution from the state," said EJL Secretary General Allar Hint.
"Another obstacle is, that the WTA requires Russian and Belarusian athletes to be allowed to compete in tournaments, which is not in line with our own principles," Hint added.
"It is a pity, of course. Last year a lot was put into organizing [of the tournament] and the WTA gave it a positive assessment, which is rare for a first-time organizer," he continued.
"At the same time, it also comes as a slight relief, because it would be difficult to do better. The crowds came to watch Anett (Kontaveit) and Kaia (Kanepi) in particular. Both were in top form in September and thanks to them we had a full house on four of the days. Our top players up against each other in the semi-final – that was something special. It was a very memorable WTA tournament," Hint said.
He went on to say, that the EJL would certainly be prepared to consider organizing another WTA tournament in Estonia in the future, if the state is able to provide the required financial support.
"The state will benefit, above all, by increasing the country's profile as a result of the international television coverage," said Hint. "This year however, the train has already left the station."
The singles tournament at the WTA Tallinn 250 Open, which took place at the Tondi Tennis Center last September and October, was won by Barbora Krjecikova of the Czech Republic. Krjecikova defeated Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3 in the final. The doubles event was won by Ukrainian twins Lyudmyla and Nadia Kichenko.
For Estonian tennis fans, the highlight of the tournament was surely the semi-final clash between Kontaveit, who was then ranked as WTA No and the country's other star player Kaia Kanepi (Then WTA. No. 32).
Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!
Editor: Michael Cole