Women’s Tennis Association agrees €140 million deal with private equity firm CVC

The partnership aims to generate improved commercial growth in the women’s game

The Women’s Tennis Association has announced a new investment deal with CVC Capital Partners worth €140 million (£125m).

The private equity firm previously owned Formula One and has also invested in rugby, cricket and French and Spanish football.

This new deal, which has been in the pipeline for some time, is described as a “strategic partnership” and will see CVC secure a 20 per cent stake in the newly created commercial entity of the WTA.

The partnership aims to generate improved commercial growth in the women’s game and raise its profile after a difficult period that has seen the gap to the men’s sport widen.


The retirements of Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty have robbed the game of three of its biggest stars while Naomi Osaka is taking time away to have her first child and Emma Raducanu is still trying to establish herself.

Coupled with a lack of star power is the difficult nature of the tour’s current relationship with its previous biggest partner, China.

After a hiatus in events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the WTA took a stand amid uncertainty over the welfare of former Chinese player Peng Shuai following her allegations against a high-ranking official.

Tour chief Steve Simon has said events will not be held in the country until Peng’s welfare is verified and an investigation conducted, but there is no sign of either condition being met.

A statement read: “Commencing in 2023, CVC will be WTA’s commercial partner, investing capital and acting as a catalyst to drive growth of the sport.

“Key focus areas include providing fans with more access to the sport, investing behind the Tour brands, building the player profiles, and investing in digital platforms and commercial capabilities.

“The WTA will continue to own the majority interest in the partnership and retain full regulatory and sporting responsibility for the women’s game.”

The statement also claimed support from the players for the deal, adding that “critical changes” to the calendar would make it easier for fans to follow players.