WTA Finals: Event goes to Mexico in 2023 but Saudi could host in future

Caroline Garcia
Caroline Garcia won the 2022 WTA Finals

This year's WTA Finals will be staged in the Mexican resort of Cancun - but the one-year agreement leaves the door open for Saudi Arabia to host the event in future seasons.

Saudi Arabia held talks with the women's tour about hosting its end-of-season event, BBC Sport understands.

Players have been mostly supportive of going to Saudi Arabia.

However, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe voiced opposition as the WTA deliberated.

The venue selection for the October 29 to November 5 tournament will not be popular with organisers of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

That showpiece starts in Seville - seven time zones ahead - just two days after the WTA Finals conclude.

The possibility of the WTA going to a nation such as Saudi Arabia, where women face discrimination, has been criticised.

Saudi Arabia has used its financial power to increase influence in the sporting world over recent years, leading to accusations of 'sportswashing' - an attempt to improve global reputation.

The country has long been criticised for issues around human rights, including a lack of women's rights, the criminalisation of homosexuality, the restriction of free speech and the use of the death penalty.

Former world number one Navratilova said she would not go to compete in Saudi if she remained on tour, having previously said she was "heartbroken" that current players would go there.