Women's Tennis Tour Opens Program To Attract Female Coaches

Maria Sakkari of Greece serves to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during round-robin play on day three of the WTA Finals tennis tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. Sakkari won 6-2, 6-4. (AP Photo/Tim Heitman)
Maria Sakkari of Greece serves to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during round-robin play on day three of the WTA Finals tennis tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022. Sakkari won 6-2, 6-4. (AP Photo/Tim Heitman)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The women’s professional tennis tour is starting a program it hopes will lead to more female coaches in the sport.

The WTA Tour’s Coach Inclusion Program, which was unveiled Thursday, includes three phases: a week of offseason training with players in December; a 10-week online certification course; shadowing a coach and player during a tournament.

WTA CEO Steve Simon called this a step toward “diversifying and broadening” the coaching pool for women’s tennis.

There currently are five women who are private coaches employed by singles players ranked in the top 150, according to the WTA. That doesn't include women employed by national federations who might work with multiple athletes and mainly oversee player development.

The Florida-based tour said the coaching program is open to North America-based applicants. Participants will be chosen by a committee.

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