It’s been just over a month since the WTA concluded its season at the Linz Open in Austria.
But in two weeks time, the WTA tour will kickstart its 2021 campaign with its first ever WTA 500 event in Abu Dhabi.
After Tennis Australia confirmed the Australian Open would be postponed by three weeks, both the ATP and WTA tours have been working hard to build a season-opening schedule of tournaments that would accommodate the delays to the open.
And after the ATP announced the opening seven weeks of its season on Thursday, the WTA have announced a similar tournament schedule leading up to the Australian Open on 8 February.
The event will be followed by the Australian Open Qualifiers, which will take place in Dubai between 10-13 January.
Players will then travel to Melbourne between the 15-16 January and will quarantine for two weeks ahead of the Australian Open.
Two 48-player WTA 500 events will be held concurrently in Melbourne between 1-7 February, giving all players the chance to warm up ahead of the Australian Open commencing on 8 February.
The WTA additionally announced a WTA 250 tournament would be held during the second week of the Australian Open for those who were knocked out of the tournament in its early stages.Embed from Getty Images
Tennis Australia are also expected to announce a follow up tournament will be played after the completion of the Australian Open in a city outside Melbourne, most likely Adelaide.
“We are excited to announce the first swing of tournaments representing the opening weeks of the 2021 WTA season, all of which will operate in an environment that puts health and safety at the forefront,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon.
“We want to express our sincere appreciation for the cooperation between key tennis stakeholders and organisations, along with the local health authorities who have been vital in getting us to this point. The hard work will continue as we look further ahead into 2021 to ensure a safe and robust calendar.”
It’s been an exciting couple of months for the WTA who have been going through some significant changes, including a full rebrand back in November.
Recently, the WTA re-designed its tournament format to unify its scheduling with the ATP which reignited talk of the tours finally taking steps towards unification.
And that certainly now seems to be the case with both tours collaborating to aline their 2021 tournament schedules in the opening seven weeks of the season.
The tours also combined last week to release a video reflecting on the pandemic plagued 2020 season entitled ‘Tennis is Life’.
If you haven’t watched it yet, go check it out – goosebumps.
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