Adelaide poised for joint ATP-WTA tournament in 2020
Men's tennis' ATP and the women's WTA have announced plans to stage a combined tournament in Adelaide, Australia starting in 2020.
The tournament at Memorial Drive is expected to attract more than 120 of the world’s top singles and doubles players and offer a minimum of A$2 million ($1.44 million) in total prize money.
It will be held prior to the Australian Open, the opening grand slam of the tennis calendar.
Australia is already slated to host the ATP Cup, a new, 24-team national teams competition in January 2020. Sydney and Brisbane will play host, with one more, as yet unknown city, most likely Perth.
Craig Tiley, chief executive of Tennis Australia, said: “It’s important for us to continually improve on the great tennis offering we have in Australia to ensure there are more opportunities for players, more opportunities for fans to get to see them in their home towns and more global exposure for our sport.
“A major part of that vision is delivering more world-class tennis to capital cities around Australia which is what this tournament will help do. It is a vital piece in our vision to ultimately grow tennis and provide inspiration for future generations.”
Meanwhile, the WTA has announced tweaks to its 2019 calendar, with a new Premier event in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou to kick-off the Asian swing in September, offering $1 million this year and $1.5 million in 2020.
The WTA's season-ending finals will be held in Shenzhen, China for the first time this year, having moved from Singapore.
The Zhengzhou event effectively replaces the Connecticut Open in New Haven, USA, which has been on the WTA calendar for 21 years, but the tournament licence has been sold to APG, a Chinese sports and entertainment company.
The financial model of the Connecticut Open was no longer viable, organisers said. The Tennis Foundation of Connecticut said it is exploring whether another professional tennis event can be drawn to the city, while the WTA said it is "looking at several opportunities for new events in USA."
Also new for 2019, is the Ladies Championship Lausanne in Switzerland in the week of 15 July, a week after Wimbledon, and the Baltic Open in Jurmala, Latvia in the week of 22 July. The latter will be the first WTA event to be staged in Latvia.
They replace the Ladies Championships Gstaad by Ixion Services and the Moscow River Cup, respectively.