Q&A with Steve Simon
The new CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association has a long history in event management and plans to make the tournament calendar a top priority
After 27 years with the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Steve Simon wasn’t expecting to get the call he got late last year. But when Stacey Allaster stepped down as CEO of the WTA, the board of the professional women’s tennis tour had only one candidate in mind. Simon had helped grow the Indian Wells event into the largest tennis tournament in the world outside the Grand Slams. A college tennis player at Long Beach State, Simon joined the event in a sales role in 1989 and in 2004 became tournament director and COO. Now he will be in charge of overseeing a star-filled tour with a lengthy calendar that has caused many top players to wear down with injuries as the season progresses.
In this interview with SportsTravel’s Jason Gewirtz, Simon discusses his plans for the schedule, the WTA’s future and how he once wrote his way into Wimbledon.
You were the WTA’s only candidate for this job. What was your reaction when the board called you to ask if you were interested?
I think it was one of humbleness. The unique thing for me was that I was a WTA board member, so when that call comes from your peers and the people you work with and they feel that you’re the right person for the position, I think that doesn’t happen very often in your lifetime.
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