Tennis Australia has confirmed it’s in advanced talks to put forward a female tournament to coincide with the ATP Cup.
Tennis Australia has confirmed it’s in advanced talks to put forward a female tournament to coincide with the ATP Cup.

Move to quell sexism talk with proposed tennis cup

Tennis Australia's Craig Tiley will meet Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday to discuss a second major stadium for Brisbane amid plans to introduce a women's version of the ATP Cup.

Keen to create the WTA Cup while expanding the Queensland Tennis Centre, and douse claims of gender bias against women players, Tiley said discussions were "very far advanced."

The talks come as Maria Sharapova said the star-studded Brisbane International felt like a "second-hand" event after top women were banished to outside courts as the men's ATP Cup contests commanded prime court allocation.

US Open winner Sloane Stephens labelled the show court priority given to the ATP Cup over WTA clashes as disrespectful.

Sharapova agreed.

"You definitely recognise it and notice it (starting on outside courts), it feels like a little bit of a second-hand event," Sharapova said.

"I think there's a lot of girls that are deserving of that centre court spot in this draw, I think there are six out of (the world's) top 10 players (in Brisbane)."

Maria Sharapova was another star to hit out at the Brisbane International. Picture: AAP
Maria Sharapova was another star to hit out at the Brisbane International. Picture: AAP

The problem could be solved if a second major stadium was built on the complex near Patrick Rafter Arena.

Tiley said the WTA Cup had the support of leading female players after the subject was raised at Wimbledon by Samantha Stosur.

"Tomorrow (Thursday) I am going up to Brisbane and I have a meeting with the premier and we will be talking about the ongoing redevelopment of Brisbane International and Patrick Rafter Arena and the potential second arena," he said.

"Which we'll need to do the (for the) event we propose for the women. That is part of ongoing conversations with the WTA.

Craig Tiley says there are advanced talks about bringing in a WTA Cup event. Picture: AAP
Craig Tiley says there are advanced talks about bringing in a WTA Cup event. Picture: AAP

"They (talks) are very far advanced. The CEO of the WTA (Steve Simon), (I) just spoke to him this morning and we will have a meeting in a couple of weeks.

"We will have ongoing conversations and at the right time we will announce what we have planned for the women.

"I am excited for them and they are all keen for it, they have seen what happened on the men's side (ATP Cup) and it was not possible to do them at the same time because the planning for both were different.

"We haven't finalised on the women's side yet because there are a few more things to move about in terms of the events." 



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