WTA releases first seven weeks of 2021 calendar; Abu Dhabi opens play

WTA releases first seven weeks of 2021 calendar; Abu Dhabi opens play

Four tournaments will be held in Melbourne, including the Australian Open, which will be held with some fans in attendance.

The last time WTA competition took place was just over a month ago, in Linz, Austria. In just over two weeks’ time, the tour will continue as a new, and hopefully much improved, year begins.

On the heels of the ATP announcing the first seven weeks of its 2021 calendar, the WTA has followed suit with a similar rollout of events, mainly concentrated in Australia.

“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 Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “We want to express our sincere appreciation for the cooperation between key tennis stakeholders and organizations, 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.”

The WTA season will commence on January 5 in Abu Dhabi—just 150 kilometers from Dubai, the site of women’s Australian Open qualifying, beginning on the 10th. From there, following a two-week quarantine in Melbourne, players will be able to compete in a pair of WTA 500 tournaments, both serving as tune-ups to the Australian Open. Another WTA 250 tournament will be held during the second week of the Australian Open, for players who have exited the Grand Slam.

Just before the calendar release, Tennis Australia announced that tickets to the Australian Open would go on sale on December 23. No indication of fan capacity was mentioned.

“AO 2021 is going to be all about supporting local businesses—our tennis coaches, the farmers, food and wine producers, chefs, artists and musicians—and celebrating everything that is great about our country,” said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, “as well as providing opportunities to those who’ve been so hard hit during the pandemic, particularly in Melbourne and Victoria.”

In other women’s tennis news, earlier this week, the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) announced that its 2021 play-offs would occur on April 16 and 17.

We will continue to update this developing story.