SINGAPORE: Singapore looks set to hold its first WTA tennis tournament as early as next year after being offered an end-of-season time slot, a promoter said on Friday.
The wealthy Southeast Asian mini-state, which is holding an exhibition event featuring six top players from Friday, would become the seventh Asia-Pacific stop for the professional women's tour.
"We are in discussions with the WTA ( Women's Tennis Association) to convert it to a WTA tournament. We have two options, the one we are looking at is probably the November time-slot," promoter Hicham Moudden told journalists.
"We are planning to convert it to a WTA tournament from next year," he added.
Moudden said Singapore also had the option to hold an event in January or February, but preferred the November slot because there are no other events in the region at that time.
US Open champion Sam Stosur, world number eight Agnieszka Radwanska, China's Peng Shuai, Flavia Pennetta, Daniela Hantuchova and Anabel Medina Garrigues are all in Singapore for the inaugural Singapore Women's Tennis Exhibition.
Spain's Garrigues said a November event could prove popular with Asia-Pacific players, but may struggle to attract Europeans at the end of a long season.
The last event on the current WTA calendar for 2012 is the Tournament of Champions season finale in Sofia, which starts on October 29.
"I think for the Asian people or the people close to Australia, it's going to be good preparation," Garrigues said. "For the people from Europe maybe it's a little bit difficult."