WTA tournament returning to Portorož after ten years

Ljubljana – A tournament of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) series is returning to Slovenia, as the national federation has been successful in bidding to host a US$125,000 prize money tournament for ladies in the seaside resort of Portorož between 13 and 19 September.

Gregor Krušič, the head of the Slovenian Tennis Federation, has told the STA that the federation has actually taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis to bring back the best female tennis players to Slovenia after ten years.

“Many organisers are skipping on tournaments due to various reasons, and the WTA is interested in new venues. Considering that Portorož had already hosted a WTA tournament, the organisation opened their doors to us,” he added.

The tournament of the WTA 125K series is scheduled to feature the top six Slovenian players, and some younger players are also expected to be given an opportunity.

With the organisers in Portorož having obtained a WTA licence, the men’s ATP challenger, which did not take place last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is bidding farewell from the seaside resort after seven years.

One of the reasons to switch to the WTA is that Slovenian female players are ranked much higher than their male compatriots, with two in the top 100 – Polona Hercog in 51st and Tamara Zidanšek in 91st place.

Slovenia last time hosted the best woman tennis players in the world in 2005-2010 at a tournament sponsored by the bank Banka Koper. It’s prize money was first US$140,000, and it eventually grew to US$220,000.

Slovenian players are yet to win a WTA tournament hosted in their native country. Coming the closest was Katarina Srebotnik, who lost in the finals of the first ever tournament to Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic.