New WTA season to get underway in Abu Dhabi while Melbourne hosts three additional events

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The United Arab Emirates will host the season-opening Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open in January after the WTA confirmed the initial 2021 Tour calendar.

After weeks of speculation and confusion due to the coranvirus pandemic, the guardians of women’s tennis finally confirmed the first seven weeks of next year’s schedule with Abu Dhabi getting the honours of hosting the first event of the year.

The hard-court WTA 500 tournament will take place from January 5-13 at Zayed Sports City International Tennis Centre and will have a prize pool of $565,530.

That will be followed by the Australian Open qualifying tournament from January 10-13 in Dubai after which players will fly to Melbourne and undergo two weeks of quarantine.

The Victorian city will then host concurrent 56-player WTA 500 hard-court events from January 31 – February 7.

That will be followed by the season-opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, from February 8-21 before the first swing comes to an end with a WTA 250 event in the same city.

“We are excited to announce the first swing of tournaments representing the opening weeks of the 2021 WTA season, all of which will operate in an environment that puts health and safety at the forefront,” WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said.

“We want to express our sincere appreciation for the co-operation between key tennis stakeholders and organisations, along with the local health authorities who have been vital in getting us to this point. The hard work will continue as we look further ahead into 2021 to ensure a safe and robust calendar.”

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