ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA announced today its calendar for the 2017 season as well as a recent addition to the 2016 calendar.
The 2017 WTA season is comprised of 23 WTA Premier and 33 International events, with all roads leading to the season finale BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, followed by the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. Beginning in 2017, WTA Media, together with WTA tournaments, will produce all main draw singles matches and the semifinals and finals of all doubles matches.
"The 2017 season promises to be the WTA's most exciting year to date, building on the existing cornerstones of the women's tour, said WTA CEO Steve Simon. "With more fans than ever accessing our sport to watch an unprecedented depth of player field, the WTA promises another intense race on the Road to Singapore in 2017," Simon added.
Changes and additions to the 2017 calendar:
? St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy (Russia) and Taiwan Open (Kaohsiung): switch to week 5 (from week 6), beginning January 30
? Qatar Total Open (Doha): Premier event, switch to week 7 (from week 8), beginning February 13
? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Premier 5 event, switches to week 8 (from week 7), beginning February 20
? Rio Open (Brazil): switches to week 8 (from week 7), beginning February 20.
? Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presented by HSBC (Acapulco, Mexico) switches to week 9 (from week 8), beginning February 27
? Abierto Monterrey Afirme (Mexico): switches to week 14 (from week 9), beginning April 3, after the Miami Open
? Jiangxi Open (Nanchang, China): switches to week 30 (from week 31), beginning July 24
? Bank of the West Classic (Stanford), Rogers Cup (Toronto), Western and Southern Open (Cincinnati) and Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies (New Haven): return to consecutive weeks, beginning July 31 after dates shifted in 2016 due to Olympic Games.
Welcome Gstaad, Mallorca, and Louisville:
Ahead of 2017, a new addition to the 2016 calendar was announced March 11, the Ladies Championship Gstaad, Switzerland, which replaces the Nurnberger Gastein Ladies International tournament, held in Bad Gastein since 2007.
This year's Gstaad event will be held July 9-17, the first women's tennis event in Switzerland since the Zurich Open in 2008. The event couldn't be returning to Switzerland at a better time, with Swiss tennis going through a golden era - both Belinda Bencic and Timea Bacsinszky are ranked inside the Top 20 and, International Tennis Hall of Famer, Martina Hingis is co-ranked at World No.1 in doubles.
The 2016 WTA calendar also introduces the Mallorca Open (June 13-19), a new addition to the grass court season, while the Louisville International Open in host city Louisville, Kentucky, USA, will offer an additional final hard court tune-up in August before the final Grand Slam of the year at the US Open.
Other changes in 2016, announced earlier this season, included February's spectacular inaugural event in Russia, the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, as well as International tournament moves to Kaohsiung and Nanchang.