WTA adds Czech and US events to revised calendar
The WTA, the organiser of the top professional women's tennis tour, has added events in the Czech Republic and USA to its provisional 2020 calendar, which now comprises 21 tournaments.
Last month, the WTA Tour announced that, following a five-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it would resume in Palermo in Italy in the first week of August.
The two new events, the Prague Open and the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky, will be held in the week starting 10 August.
Steve Simon, WTA chairman, said: “As the WTA Tour looks to return to competition in 2020, we are pleased to provide additional playing opportunities for our athletes. We are delighted to welcome the teams in Prague and Lexington onto the 2020 provisional calendar and look forward to the return of women’s professional tennis.”
The Prague Open will be played on the Sparta Prague clay courts in the Czech capital, and the organisers are planning to allow 2,000 spectators to attend matches.
The Lexington stop, to be organised by international sports marketing agency Octagon, replaces the Citi Open in Washington DC, a tournament that is usually held alongside a men's ATP Tour event.
Phil de Picciotto, the Octagon founder and president, said: "We are very pleased to bring this tournament to Lexington as part of the re-opening of live sports this summer. We thank the WTA Tour and Top Seed for their unwavering collaboration, support and encouragement in working through the many unique complexities of these times.”
After the two events in the Czech Republic and USA, the tour will move on to the Cincinnati Masters, which has been relocated to Flushing Meadows in New York, to serve as a warm-up for the US Open, to be held at the same venue from 31 August to 13 September.
There will then be prominent clay court tournaments in the Madrid Open and Italian Open, heading into the French Open, from 20 September to 4 October. The autumn features a succession of events in Asia-Pacific, including the China Open in Beijing and season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen set for 9 to 15 November.
However, China’s announcement yesterday that it will not stage any international sport events for the rest of the year, apart from trials for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, has raised doubts over the climax to the WTA season.
Meanwhile, World TeamTennis, the USA-based professional mixed-gender league, has announced a raft of category-specific sponsors for its 2020 season, which starts on Sunday, and runs to 1 August.
All matches will be played in West Virginia at The Greenbrier 'America’s Resort', which is serving as WTT's official hotel partner. Insurance company Geico returns as the official auto insurance provider, while DraftKings has signed up as official daily fantasy partner.
Other sponsors include Wilson (racket and ball) Har-Tru (playing surfacer), Shinola (timing), Weatherman (umbrella) and Zenni (eyewear), plus UTR powered by Oracle, the USTA, Chosen Foods, Greenbrier Tourism and KT Tape.
All WTT regular season and playoff matches will be broadcast or streamed by US national broadcaster CBS, CBS Sports Network, digital cable network The Tennis Channel or sports broadcaster ESPN.
In addition, selected matches will be live-streamed on ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+, Facebook Watch or WTT.com.
For health reasons, attendance at the matches will be limited to 500 spectators, equivalent to 20 per cent of capacity.