Steve Simon to step down as chief executive of the WTA Tour. Since 2015, she has held the position together with the position of executive chairman of the umbrella organization – the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). He will retain this role even after the appointment of a new Tour Director. The two functions will be separated in terms of personnel to allow the organization to be more “focused on WTA objectives”. The information was provided by the association on its website.
Simon’s position was under scrutiny during the end of last season. Above all, the badly laid out tournament calendar and the organization of the Tournament of Champions in Cancún, Mexico were strongly criticized by the tennis public and the players themselves.
Eighteen-time Grand Slam singles winner Martina Navrátilová was also a significant critic of Simon’s leadership. “I personally have been involved with the WTA for so long and I see that in history we have only had three women at the head. I hope that when the new leader comes, it will be a woman. There are a lot of qualified people who would be suitable for this job,” she said during the Tournament of Champions.
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The World Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) stands on a precipice. The long-term problems escalated to the Tournament of Champions in Cancun, Mexico, a place where it was better not to play at that time. The prestigious competition was also canceled due to the weather.
However, Simon will still play a significant role in the future of women’s tennis. He will focus on the governance, integrity and strategic interests of the WTA – and the new Tour chief executive will answer to him.
“I shared with the WTA board this summer that if the WTA is to remain at the forefront of women’s sport, we need to undergo a complete overhaul of our organizational structure,” Simon told BBC Sport, adding “I think it’s in the best interests of the organization , because it has grown a lot in those eight years.”