• AFP-Jiji


The WTA Tour has unveiled plans for nine more weeks of its 2021 calendar, with some changes made in light of the one-week delay to the start of the French Open.

The women’s tennis tour had already released the first 27 weeks of its 2021 schedule, which has been rolled out in phases because of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament scheduled to start in Anning, China, on May 17 will now be held this year in Belgrade.

The tournament in Strasbourg, originally planned to begin May 17, will now move to the week of May 24 — the week before play will begin at Roland Garros on May 30.

Two planned grass-court tournaments — in Germany’s Cologne and the Netherlands’ ‘s-Hertogenbosch — have been canceled for this year, and talks are continuing regarding a potential new date for a Wimbledon grass-court tune-up in Nottingham.

There are still four Wimbledon warm-ups available, with two new events in Berlin and Bad Homburg along with Eastbourne and Birmingham.

After The Championships, set for June 28-July 11, the tournament scheduled to start July 12 in Bucharest moves to Budapest.

The hardcourt tournament originally set for Washington in July will move to Poland, where the clay-court event could offer 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek a chance to play in her homeland for the first time since 2016.

“We are excited to announce the next series of events on the 2021 Tour calendar, as this season has already proven to be outstanding with the level of tennis we have witnessed thus far,” WTA chief executive Steve Simon said.

“We are especially appreciative of the commitment in which all the tournaments and players have put forth in order to operate efficiently and safely during these challenging times.”

In the build-up to the U.S. Open, the Western & Southern Open returns to its regular home in Cincinnati after being held at Flushing Meadows last year.

An inaugural event in Cleveland, Ohio, has also been added before the U.S. Open starts on August 30.

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