WTA plan full season, return to China in 2021

After a Coronavirus-affected season, the WTA is hoping for a full season in 2021 and a return to China

Ashleigh Barty won the 2019 WTA Finals in Shenzen, China and finished 2020 as No 1 in the world. WTA is planning for a full season in 2021

WTA chief Steve Simon informed that the women’s tour is looking forward to a full season in 2021 and China is central to those plans.

In an interview with news agency Reuters, Simon said, “For 2021 we’re planning our full calendar, our full complement of events which usually will fluctuate between 53 and 55 events a year.”

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If the 2020 season had gone on uninterrupted, China would have hosted three WTA 1000 events and the WTA Finals in Shenzen. The entire Asian swing at the end of the year was cancelled due to the pandemic, resulting in significant loss of revenue.

But Simon is confident that 2021 would be different.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to be back over there from what we’ve heard so far,” Simon said.

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“We have the foresight now to know what we’re dealing with. Contingency planning can be in place, things that we didn’t have the advantage of in 2020.

Though the dates for the Australian Open and the quarantine measures for the Grand Slam are yet to be officially confirmed, the WTA is planning to start its season in January 4 outside Australia.

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Despite the financial strain, the WTA kept its entire workforce in place and with support from its main sponsors, the women’s governing body said it is in a strong position.

Simon feels the challenges will continue, but with news of effective vaccines around the corner says he expects some level of normality to return next year.

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Earlier this month, the WTA rebranded itself and unveiled a new logo. They have also aligned their tournament structure with that of the ATP.