A few days after the ATP Tour put out a tentative schedule for 2021, the WTA Tour did the same through this year’s Wimbledon.
Again, we have to consider all of this a fluid situation, depending on the coronavirus situation all over the world.
At the same time, if they’re going to continue to hold events without fans or media, under reasonably secure sanitary conditions, they might have a better shot at trying to pull some of the tournaments off.
What we’ll see, if all goes well, is the “new” grass-court swing that was supposed to happen in 2020.
Here’s what it looks like.
Modified “Sunshine Swing” includes Miami
If not everyone seems certain that the Miami Open will actually be held in Miami this year, it is the centerpiece of a swing through the southern U.S. and Mexico that at least makes sense, geographically.
Players who aren’t ranked highly enough to hit the Doha-Dubai double in the Middle East can play the 250s in Guadalajara and Monterrey and then head to Miami. For another week in the U.S., there will be the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.
Longer stretch for Madrid
The St’ Petersburg Ladies Trophy, a 500 that’s usually held the second week of February, is pushed back to mid-March.
During the scheduled Billie Jean Cup finals in Budapest, there is also a one-off 250 event in Anning, China.
There is a two week gap between the Mutua Madrid Open and Rome, with Madrid beginning the week of April 26 and Rome the week of May 10.
That’s different than the ATP, which has them on back-to-back weeks, May 2 and May 9.
The first day of the women’s main draw will be April 29, while for the men it will be May 2. What it essentially does is just stretch the tournament out over a long period (with more sessions to sell).
Three tournaments the week before RG
Added to Rabat and Strasbourg is a new event, the Cologne Open.
Remember that Cologne hosted back-to-back men’s events indoors last fall.
Whether the week before a Grand Slam, when most of the best players in the world choose to train instead of play, is the best slot is probably moot. It’s there.
New grass swing
The musical chairs during the grass-court season were fast and furious leading up to the 2020 season.
Unfortunately, it was all moot as the entire swing was cancelled during the shutdown.
So, if all goes well, we’ll get a look at the new Bett1 Open in Berlin, Germany the week of June 14 (a 500). And then the Bad Homburg Open (a 250) the next week. Bad Homburg competes with the popular Eastbourne tournament.
The Mallorca tournament is gone, replaced by a men’s event.
What’s new for 2021?
Not happening: J&T Banka Prague Open (April 27 – May 2 – a casualty of Madrid)
Not happening: Croatia Bol Open (125K)(June 1-6)
Moved and upgraded: Kunming Open, which was a 125 but now is a 250. It is moved up from late April-early May to the week of April 12, against the Billie Jean Cup final.
Not happening: There was word that the WTA Tour would try to get a pair of 125s organized in Europe, for those who aren’t ranked high enough to make it to the Australian tournaments.
There is nothing on the schedule about this. Which leaves a lot of player sin the lurch. Hopefully they might be able to add something.