After a topsy-turvy 2020 season, we entered the second half of December without any picture about how the next tennis year will commence. The WTA has now finally announced the schedule for the first seven weeks of 2021. The season will start with the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open.
As the coronavirus pandemic is still far from over, the WTA took into account travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. These are the tournaments that will be played early in 2021:
- January 5-13, Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, a WTA 500 level event, $565,530
- January 10-13, Australian Open qualifying, to be played in Dubai
Afterwards, players and their teams will then travel to Australia on charter flights for a two-week quarantine. Following the quarantine period, two WTA 500 tournaments will take place concurrently in Melbourne Park.
3 & 4. January 31 – February 7, Melbourne 1 and Melbourne 2, WTA 500 level, $565,530
5. February 8-21, Australian Open, AU$31,796,000
6. February 15-21, Melbourne, WTA 250, $235,238
Because of the current health situation and travel restrictions, WTA 250 tournaments in Auckland and Shenzhen will not be held next year but are scheduled to return in 2022.
This is a very strange tournament schedule, but it shows how hard the WTA has worked to provide as much tennis as possible in these limiting circumstances. What do you think about the WTA’s calendar solution?