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What you need to know about the WTA calendar changes for 2014 and 2015

The WTA announced calendars for the two upcoming seasons and here I broke down all the changes to make it clear to all of us what the actual differences are. Before proceeding, I would sum everything up by saying that the efforts to grow in Asia are continuing, we have a new event in Rio de Janeiro, the WTA Championships are relocating, a few tournaments will be no more, we have additional 125K Series events and in 2015 we will have a longer grasscourt season. Let's look at it in closer detail now.

Tennis court

EXPANSION IN ASIA

There will be a new Premier event in Li Na’s hometown of Wuhan and two new International events in Hong Kong and Tianjin. You know that the WTA’s long-term strategy is to plant the tennis seeds in the Asia-Pacific region and their efforts are further evidenced in the 2014 calendar which features 16 events in the region, five of which will be in China (notice that in 2012 China hosted only two WTA events).

BRAZIL GETS THE RIO OPEN

Rio de Janeiro will be the place to be in 2016 because of the Olympics and the WTA doesn’t want to miss the lucrative opportunity, so they created a claycourt WTA event in the city. With Florianopolis and Bogota already on the calendar, South America will have record three WTA events.

125K SERIES EVENTS

In 2012 WTA introduced smaller tournaments to help emerging markets and rising players and in 2014 there will be a total of six such events (in 2013 there were five and in 2012 there were two). In 2014 we will have: Raanana, Limoges, Nanchang, Suzhou, Ningbo and Chinese Taipei.

WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS MOVE TO SINGAPORE

The WTA Championships will relocate from Istanbul to Singapore, which will host the event for record five years between 2014 and 2018.

ISTANBUL BACK TO THE ISTANBUL CUP

Istanbul returns to hosting the International-level Istanbul Cup.

SWITCHES FROM INTERNATIONAL TO PREMIER

Birmingham will go from International to Premier status.

SURFACE CHANGES

Acapulco and Katowice are switching from clay to hardcourts, so Stuttgart will be the only indoor tournament played on clay.

AND SOME TOURNAMENTS WILL DIE…

Carlsbad, Brussels and Palermo will no longer exist, while the Rio Open is replacing Memphis.

Changes for the 2015 season have been announced as well, and the major difference will be a longer grasscourt season, with an additional tournament in Nottingham. (source: WTA Tennis, photo: sr_cranks)

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6 thoughts on “What you need to know about the WTA calendar changes for 2014 and 2015

  1. Håkon Mørk

    Brussels has stopped, was announced a few days ago. Given the calendar move of Nürnberg, I don't think it will be missed.

  2. Marija Post author

    Håkon Mørk, you're right, in their last month's news they noted that the tournament would be downgraded, but then a few weeks later they announced that they were cancelling it.

  3. JohnnyB

    The WTA is very secretive about the selling of their tournament franchises. Thanks for all the good intel. China is buying up tournaments. All of us La Costa fans (Carlsbad) knew during the tournament in 2013 we were watching this wonderful tournament for the last time. It was the best venue in tennis (sorry Charleston and Eastbourne). No where else could fans and players mix in one of the most beautiful spa resorts in the world and walk but a few steps to the courts. This is the place where I saw my first WTA match so it is very sad to see it go. I will never forget the great times at La Costa and all the wonderful fans and players I met there.

  4. Marija Post author

    Gregoire Gentil, you're welcome! :)

    JohnnyB, I was expecting your lament. :) I know how much you enjoyed Carlsbad, after all, a lot of our WTA autographs were obtained there!

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