The WTA Tour season will start in Abu Dhabi on 5 January 2021, the governing body of women’s tennis has confirmed.
Abu Dhabi Open kicks off WTA Tour
The season will kick off with the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open. The WTA 500 level event will take place between 5 and 13 January with qualifying for the Australian Open taking place in Dubai from 10-13 January.
“We are delighted to welcome to Abu Dhabi WTA’s 2021 kick-off event, the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open. Abu Dhabi is a global capital of world sport and the presence of top tennis players from around the world at this time only strengthens that position and reinforces our esteemed reputation,” General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council H.E Aref Al Awani said.
“The WTA has worked diligently with tournaments and players to provide as many job opportunities as possible while being mindful of increased travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine guidelines set forth by local governments,” a WTA Tour press release read.
The qualified players and their entourages then need to travel to Australia where they will complete the mandatory two-week Covid-19 quarantine period ahead of the Australian Open.
Delayed Grand Slam
The first Grand Slam of the season, has already been delayed from its normal January slot. The Australian Open will now take place from 8 – 21 February.
Two WTA 500 tournaments will be held concurrently in Melbourne Park from 31 January until 7 February serving as warm-ups for the Australian Open
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, said, “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. 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 250 tournaments in Auckland and Shenzhen will not be held in 2021 due to travel restrictions, but the WTA said it hoped to ensure they are restored to the calendar in 2022.
“The WTA continues to closely monitor the evolving status of tournaments for the remainder of 2021 with an announcement in the coming weeks surrounding a more expansive calendar.”