The WTA has announced the schedule for the first seven weeks of the 2021 Tour calendar. The WTA has worked diligently with tournaments and players to provide as many job opportunities as possible while being mindful of increased travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine guidelines set forth by local governments.
The season will kick off at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, a WTA 500 level event, from January 5-13 at Zayed Sports City International Tennis Centre. H.E Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said, “We are delighted to welcome to Abu Dhabi WTA’s 2021 kick-off event, the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open. Abu Dhabi is a global capital of world sport and the presence of top tennis players from around the world at this time only strengthens that position and reinforces our esteemed reputation.”
The Australian Open qualifying will take place in Dubai from January 10-13, with both events then allowing for travel to Melbourne from one of Tennis Australia’s designated charter flight hubs of Dubai (in addition to Singapore and Los Angeles).
Upon conclusion of those events, players and their respective support teams will travel to Australia where they will complete the mandatory two-week quarantine. Following the quarantine period, two WTA 500 tournaments will be held concurrently in Melbourne Park from January 31 - February 7.
The 2021 Australian Open will then take place February 8-21 inclusive of singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
A WTA 250 will be held the second week of the Australian Open, allowing athletes to remain in Melbourne, securing three weeks of competition.
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, said, “We are excited to announce the first swing of tournaments representing the opening weeks of the 2021 WTA season, all of which will operate in an environment that puts health and safety at the forefront. We want to express our sincere appreciation for the cooperation between key tennis stakeholders and organizations, along with the local health authorities who have been vital in getting us to this point. The hard work will continue as we look further ahead into 2021 to ensure a safe and robust calendar.”
Due to travel restrictions and the mandatory quarantine, WTA 250 tournaments in Auckland and Shenzhen will not be held in 2021 but are scheduled to return to the WTA Tour calendar in 2022. The WTA continues to closely monitor the evolving status of tournaments for the remainder of 2021 with an announcement in the coming weeks surrounding a more expansive calendar.