WTA season to commence on 5 January, calendar to provide two-week COVID-19 quarantine period ahead of Australian Open

The season will kick off with the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, a WTA 500 level event on 5-13 January, while qualifying for the Australian Open will take place in Dubai on 10-13 January.

Agence France-Presse December 19, 2020 17:48:26 IST
WTA season to commence on 5 January, calendar to provide two-week COVID-19 quarantine period ahead of Australian Open

Representational image. Image: Twitter

Paris: The 2021 WTA season will start in Abu Dhabi on 5 January, the governing body of women's tennis said, as it unveiled an early-season calendar that revolves around the Australian Open.

The season will kick off with the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, a WTA 500 level event on 5-13 January, while qualifying for the Australian Open will take place in Dubai on 10-13 January.

Players and their support staff will then travel to Australia where they will complete the mandatory two-week COVID-19 quarantine period.

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, has already been delayed from its normal January slot and will take place on 8-21 February.

In the build-up to the tournament in Melbourne, two WTA 500 tournaments will be held concurrently in Melbourne Park on 31 January - 7 February.

WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said on Friday the early-season events "will operate in an environment that puts health and safety at the forefront".

"The hard work will continue as we look further ahead into 2021 to ensure a safe and robust calendar," he said in a statement.

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 restore them to the calendar in 2022.

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