January 3, 2009

No More Tiers: Premier and International

Premier Tournaments is the new category for tennis tournaments of the Women's Tennis Association for the 2009 WTA Tour. Premier Tournaments are replacing Tier I and Tier II events, but also reducing number of tournaments to 20 (from 26 Tier I/II events). Premier Tournaments are designed for the Top Players and offer more money. Tier III and IV are replaced with International Tournaments category. (There are 30 tournaments, with a prize money for every event at $200,000, except for season-ending Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, which has a prize money of $600,000).

Premier events include:

Premier Mandatory - Four mandatory, $4.5 million equal prize money combined events anchoring calendar in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing

Premier 5 - Five $2 million events in Dubai, Rome, Cincinati, Toronto/Montreal and Tokyo

Premier $700 - Ten events with a prize money from $600,000 to $1 million.

Season-ending WTA Tour Championships, with a prize money of $4.45 million

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