WTA Championships to return to Madrid in 2007

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MADRID, Nov 12 (Reuters) The WTA season-ending Championships will return to Madrid in 2007, WTA chief executive officer Larry Scott announced today.

''It's been a fantastic week that has exceeded all expectations, especially in terms of the response from the public, with estimates of a 60,000 attendance over the week,'' Scott told a news conference.

''The general view is that this has been the best Championships ever.

Madrid staged its first Championships this year, only the second time in the 34-year history of the event that it has been held outside the United States. The Spanish capital also hosts a men's Masters Series tennis event in October.

Scott said that the 2007 women's calendar, which would include record-breaking prize money of over 62 million dollar and a 62-event schedule, would feature a new tournament in Barcelona to be held in the week of June 11.

The tour will again feature two events in China and two in India, two of the biggest growth markets for women's tennis.

Scott also said that the WTA planned to make radical revisions to the tournament schedule for the 2009 season.

''We will be carrying out a dramatic remake of the tennis calendar which will end by October in 2009,'' he said.

Reuters PDS RS2059

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