ATP seeks host for 2020 pre-Wimbledon grass court event
The ATP, the organiser of the top men’s professional tennis tour, is still looking to fill a gap in the schedule in the grass court season after announcing its 2020 calendar this week.
There is an open application in process for a third-tier ATP 250 tournament in Europe, in the week commencing 22 June, ahead of Wimbledon, the UK’s grand slam event also held on grass.
If a host is found, the new event will replace the Antalya Open in Turkey, which was first held in 2017.
The 2020 ATP season will comprise 63 tournaments in 29 countries, plus the four grand slams and the new ATP Cup, a 10-day national teams tournament to be held in Sydney, Brisbane and another as-yet-unnamed Australian city at the start of the year.
Other changes pertaining to ATP 250 events include the addition of the Adelaide International, starting on 13 January, marking the Australian city’s return to the calendar for the first time since 2008, the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, India, shifting from week one, in January, to week five, in February, and the Sofia Open in Bulgaria moving from week five to week 39, in September-October.
As has become customary, the season concludes with the elite Nitto ATP Finals in London in November, with the 2020 event to mark the 50th anniversary of the tournament.
The full calendar can be viewed here.
The ATP said that innovations for next season will include a Shot Clock at all tournaments to speed up play. This has previously been trialled at the late-season Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, which will continue to act as a platform for trialling new concepts.
The ATP Tour, which underwent a rebrand ahead of the 2019 season, now attracts around 4.5 million spectators and almost 1 billion TV and digital viewers each year.
However, there was controversy last week when it emerged that the board had decided not to extend the contract of executive chairman and president Chris Kermode who will step down at the end of this year.