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Saudi Arabia signs WTA rankings sponsorship deal

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund will become the first naming partner of the official WTA world rankings, after signing a "multi-year" contract.

The partnership follows the announcement earlier this year that the next three season-ending WTA Finals will be held in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

And it extends the PIF's investment in tennis, having struck a similar deal to become the naming partner of the ATP's world rankings in February.

The PIF's head of corporate brand, Mohamed AlSayyad, said: “Through our partnership with WTA, PIF will continue to be a catalyst for the growth of women's sport.

"We look forward to working with the WTA to increase participation and inspire the next generation of talent."

The WTA's growing association with Saudi Arabia was criticised by multiple grand slam winners Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert prior to the Riyadh announcement in January.

The pair pointed out the kingdom's questionable record on women's rights and said the then-imminent deal would be a “step backward“ for women's tennis.

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