Garbine Muguruza Named Tournament Director of 2024 WTA Finals Riyadh

Garbine Muguruza may be retired from professional play, but she hasn’t left the tennis world.

The 30-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan former professional tennis player, a former Wimbledon and French Open champion, has been named the WTA Finals tournament director, making her the first ex-player to take the helm of the season-ender, which will be held in Riyadh from this year.

Garbine MuguruzaEarlier in 2024, Riyadh secured a three-year deal to host the season finale that features the top eight singles players and doubles teams, replacing last year’s hosts in Cancun, Mexico.

Muguruza will work with the WTA, the Saudi Tennis Federation and Ministry of Sport on strategic planning and delivery, as well as helping grow the profile of tennis in the Middle East, the elite women’s governing body said.

“I feel very privileged to be able to contribute to the future of this great sport,” Muguruza said in a statement. “I know how special this event is for our top players and I’ve also seen its potential to inspire communities all over the world.

“I’m excited to work with a great team to present a showcase for women’s tennis that not only grows tennis but encourages all fans, and especially girls and women, to pursue their dreams.”

The former world No. 1, who won the French Open in 2016, Wimbledon in 2017 and the WTA Finals in 2021, retired at age 30 in April.

This year’s WTA Finals will run from November 2-9.

Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in sports such as soccer, Formula One and golf in the past few years while critics accuse the kingdom of using its Public Investment Fund to “sportswash” its human rights record.

The country denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security through its laws.

WTA chief Steve Simon said last year that Saudi Arabia presented “big issues” as a host for women’s tour events but also acknowledged the progress it had made and continued to engage with players before the WTA Finals deal was struck.

There had also been pushback from tennis greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who said the WTA’s values were in contrast to those of Saudi Arabia.

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