WTA Tour to restart with Palermo Ladies Open

WTA will restart proceedings with a revamped calendar that has 20 events in the offing

Ashleigh Barty announced retirement from the game

With the tennis circuit scheduled to restart in August, the WTA tour will be the first to host competitive events, starting with the 31° Palermo Ladies Open in Italy from August 3.

The women’s tour will start proceedings, followed by the ATP tour, which starts with the Citi Open in Washington DC scheduled for August 14.

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Both tours will then come together for the Cincinnati Open – which this year will be held in New York City – followed by the US Open. After the hard-court Grand Slam, the tour will then shift to Europe, where it will be highlighted with the rescheduled French Open that starts on September 27, and continue on to the Asian swing.

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire tennis circuit had been suspended in March, ahead of the Indian Wells Masters.

20 events inked

The Wimbledon Championships proved to be the biggest casualty in the calendar. But now, after a five-month hiatus, the WTA will restart proceedings with a revamped calendar that has 20 events in the offing.

This includes the Premier Mandatory China Open in Beijing (starting October 12) and the WTA Finals in Shenzhen from November 9 to 15.

However, fans may not be allowed at any of the events, and entry will be restricted to players and essential personnel only.

“Having assessed the global outlook for travel in the latter half of the year, working with our medical experts on providing the safest environment possible, and working through the diverse operational challenges for running events safely in the context of COVID-19, the WTA is pleased to release a calendar for the remainder of the 2020 season,” Steve Simon, chairman and CEO of the WTA said in a statement.

“For now, the vital energy of spectators in stadiums will be greatly missed, but our broadcast and social media partners are exploring new ways to engage with our fantastic fans. It is our sincere hope and desire that we will be able to return to play this summer.”

The last tour event of the year at the Guangzhou Open in China, which starts on November 23. Meanwhile dates for the Upper Austria Ladies Linz event are yet to be finalised. All events, additionally, are subject to the approval of health and governmental authorities. ‎