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Josh Ripple Leaves As WTA Tour President

January 14, 2003

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Josh Ripple has left his job as WTA president but will remain with the organization as a consultant for six months.

Ripple, who was also chief operating officer, said his contract with the WTA Tour finished at the end of last year.

WTA Tour chief executive officer Kevin Wulff said at a news conference Tuesday he was considering his own future with the tour and would decide ``no later than the end of the Australian Open.″

Wulff added the tour was considering a change in format for its season-ending championships, perhaps adopting the round-robin format of the ATP Tour’s Tennis Masters Cup. He said a decision was expected by the end of the Australian Open.

The WTA Championships in Los Angeles last November drew poor crowds and the tour is still without a naming rights sponsor.

After two decades in New York and a year in Germany, the WTA Championships moved to Staples Center. Attendance for the final was announced as 10,232 in the 20,000-seat arena. The five-day total was 56,862.

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