Dickies hosts women’s tennis finals, ex-Fort Worth resident Martina Navratilova back in town

Martina Navratilova at the 2022 US Open. (Shea Kastriner/USTA via AP)

Dickies Arena continues to find its way into history, and the popular venue will be doing so once again next week as it hosts the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals.

The world’s best female tennis players will converge in Fort Worth beginning Monday (Oct. 31) and will compete through Nov. 7 as the top eight singles players and doubles teams from the 2022 WTA season vie for the ultimate prize.

And they will be competing in Texas for the first time in the tournament’s 50-year history.

“Dickies was actually a game changer for the city,” said Jason Sands, Vice President of Sports for Visit Fort Worth. “The WTA Finals is going to be broadcast worldwide to 162 countries. The very best women’s tennis players in the world are going to be right here in our town.”

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In fact, this will be the first time the tournament has been played in the United States since it was held in Los Angeles from 2002-05. Since then it has been played in Spain (2006-07), Qatar (2008-10), Turkey (2011-13), Singapore (2014-18), China (2019) and Mexico (2021). There was no tournament in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament, which was originally known as the Virginia Slims, was held in the U.S. from 1972-2000, then moved to Germany in 2001 before a four-year return to LA.

The seating capacity at Dickies is 14,000, more than twice that of last year’s Guadalajara venue (6,639).

Tennis legend and former Fort Worth resident Martina Navratilova holds the record for WTA singles championships with eight, including five straight during the 1980s, and doubles titles with 13 (six straight in the 1980s). The doubles championship trophy is named after her and she will present it to this year’s winners, while fellow legend Chris Evert will present the Billie Jean King Trophy to the singles champion.

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Evert won four of the first six singles championships in the event. She was also a four-time runner-up, twice to Navratilova.

Each won 18 grand slam singles championships and their on-court rivalry was unmatched. Navratilova held a 43-37 advantage.

Both will be in town throughout the event serving as ambassadors for the sport, Sands said.

“Also, WTA charities is buying 150 tickets and donating to the Fort Worth Tennis Association for kids to come out (to the tournament),” Sands said.

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“This is a great opportunity for our community to see some of the best tennis in the world up close.”

While 2021 singles champion Garbine Muguruza Blanco is not among this year’s field, competing in singles will be:

  • No. 1 ranked Iga Swiatek, French Open and U.S. Open champion, winner of eight tournaments this year.
  • No. 2 Ons Jabeur, winner of two tournaments in 2022, finalist at Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
  • No. 3 Jessica Pegula; the American closed the regular season with a title in Guadalajara.
  • No. 4 Coco Gauff; the 18-year-old American and French Open finalist is at her highest career ranking.
  • No. 5 Maria Sakkari reached the finals of four tournaments this year.
  • No. 6 Caroline Garcia, winner of three tournaments this season and 10 for her career.
  • No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka, two-time finalist this season who reached the semifinals of the U.S, Open.
  • No. 8 Daria Kasatkina, winner of a pair of titles in 2022 and a French Open semifinalist.

The doubles finals qualifiers are:

  • No. 1 and defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, winners of three major tournaments in 2022.
  • No. 2 Garbriela Dabrowski/Giuliana Olmos, claimed one title from three finals this season.
  • No. 3 Gauff/Pegula, the only contenders competing in both singles and doubles in quest of a pair of championships. They won three titles this season, along with reaching the French Open final.
  • No. 4 Veronika Kudermetova/Elise Mertens, reached four finals and captured one title this season.
  • No. 5 Lyudmyla Kichenok/Jelena Ostapenko won a pair of titles from four finals this season.
  • No. 6 Yifan Xu/ZhaoxuanYang won two titles together in 2022.
  • No. 7 Anna Danilina/Beatriz Haddad Maia, Australian Open finalists and winners of one championship this year.
  • No. 8 Desirae Krawcyk/Demi Schuurs reached two finals this season, winning one title.

For tickets to any of the sessions over the eight days of competition, click here.