Another WTA event has bitten the dust, as the French Open tuneup in Brussels, Belgium is out of business after a three-year struggle.
“A tennis page has turned. Thanks to all for the beautiful moments we spent together. Too bad it’s ending,” tournament director Dominique Monami said (in French) via Twitter.The re-retirements of Belgian stars Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, even if it was always going to be a challenge to get them to play an International-level event, couldn’t have helped its long-term prospects.The fact that it was the week right before Roland Garros (with a similar event being held in Strasbourg, France – i.e. closer to Paris – the same week), also wasn’t ideal.
Brussels will be replaced on the WTA Tour schedule by an event held in picturesque Bad Gastein, Austria, which has always been scheduled the week right after Wimbledon. It might be a better time slot now for a clay-court event; but the weather is going to be more of a challenge.
There’s a full 10-degree difference in average high temps between May and July in that area; and those mornings up at more than 4,500 feet of elevation in May could be downright chillllllllly. On the plus side, there’s typically less rain.
In the meantime, both the WTA and the Bad Gastein tournament are going to have to hustle to update the information on their websites. No word on what might replace Bad Gastein on the schedule (if anything).
The other event on the WTA schedule that week, in Budapest, Hungary, probably appreciates it.