50 per cent of attendance capacity will be allowed in Sibur Arena for the tournament. The Governor of St. Petersburg has sighed the ordinance.
On January 26 a regular press conference took place in St. Petersburg’s office of the TASS News Agency. It was held online. The speakers who attended in person included St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy Director General, Zenit FC Director General, Advisor to the Director General at Gazprom Export Alexander Medvedev and the WTA Tournament Director, Director General at Formula Tennis-Xokkey, merited coach of Russia Natalia Kamelzon. The rest of the speakers preferred to participate remotely due to the requirements of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing established in response to the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These specially invited participants included the Vice Governor of St. Petersburg Boris Piotrovsky, member of the tournament’s Board for General Affairs, merited coach of Russia Vladimir Kamelzon, member of the Tournament’s Board for Player Relations Iva Majoli, member of the tournament’s Board, PR Director Vera Podguzova.
At the beginning of his speech Alexander Medvedev mentioned very important dates in the history of the Great Patriotic War: the 79th anniversary of breaking of the Siege of Leningrad (January 18, 1943) and the 78th anniversary of lifting of the Siege of Leningrad (January 27, 1944). Mr. Medvedev also gave a special mention to St. Petersburg government’s help and support in organizing St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2022, thanked the title sponsor Gazprom Export, and expressed his appreciation of all tournament’s partners and sponsors, and the media representatives. Vice Governor of St. Petersburg Boris Piotrovsky made an announcement that was exciting for all the press conference participants and tennis fans: 50 per cent of attendance capacity will be allowed in Sibur Arena. He also thanked the Director General of the tournament Alexander Medvedev for an exciting and spectacular gift to the city – St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, which has become a trademark of St. Petersburg’s sports life.
Here are the key points of the press conference:
- Venues: Concert and Sports Complex Sibur Arena and Dynamo Tennis Center. For three years the second match court was placed in the Sports Complex Athletics Arena. However, this year the Athletics Arena cannot be used, because the tournament has returned to the winter season, which is when the sports complex on Tennisnaya Alleya is completely booked for training sessions of national importance.
- 50 per cent of attendance capacity will be allowed for the tournament, except those younger than 18 y. o. (according to the clause 2-72 of St. Petersburg government’s ruling no. 121). The ban will come into force beginning January 28 and last till February 13. Adults will be able to enter Sibur Arena after showing a valid QR code.
- The tickets will go on sale on January 28.
- The main draw of the VII International Tennis Tournament WTA 500 St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy will include four Top 10 players: Karolina Pliskova (5), Maria Sakkari (6), Anett Kontaveit (7), and Ons Jabeur (10). The tournament will welcome the leading Russian tennis players: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (11), Daria Kasatkina (26), Veronika Kudermetova (30), Ekaterina Alexandrova (40), and Anastasia Potapova (69). For the first time in the history of the tournament the main draw and the qualifying draw both include 32 players, 64 players in total. The WTA Wild Card was granted to Petra Kvitova, who won St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in 2018. The qualifying stage will have St. Petersburg’s representatives Ekaterina Shalimova and Kamilla Rakhimova.
- Draw ceremony. The event will take place on Saturday, February 5, at 3 pm in the press center of the tournament and will be held online. This year the Organizing Committee has prepared something new for media representatives and spectators: everyone interested will be able to watch the players during their press conferences through special transparent screens and make pictures with players through those screens with equipment provided by CANON.
- Players’ accommodation: Four Seasons Lion Palace Hotel. Due to the worsening of the COVID-19 situation, players will be PCR tested every 48 hours. Tournament participants will be able to go out, walk around St. Petersburg, and visit restaurants. The Organizing Committee also prepared private tours for players to the Russian Museum. The Mikhailovsky Garden is hosting a promotional exhibition dedicated to the tournament.
- Official vehicle partner of the tournament Porsche Russland will provide electric cars for player transportation.
- The accreditation of media representatives is open from January 10 to February 10. Credentialed journalists will have access to the venue. The decision was made by the Organizing Committee ahead of the press conference. The access to Sibur Arena is only allowed with a QR code confirming the vaccination. Due to the requirements of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing and the WTA, there will not be an official press center. There will be a special area on the 2nd floor of Sibur Arena for all credentialed media representatives with access to all press conferences with players: the open press center Tennis Talk situated next to the sectors 1 and 2. The access to the open press center will be restricted in accordance with the available number of seats. The press conference format will allow for questions for the players. The communication between athletes and media representatives will happen online via a special screen. The same applies to private interviews: they will only be possible if conducted online. Journalists will be able to work at WTA 500 St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2022 remotely, using a special access, as they did in autumn during the ATP St. Petersburg Open 2021.
- During WTA 500 St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2022 Zenit Metro Station will be closed. With the restrictions on attending public events due to COVID-19, the use of the station is not practical.