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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

ATP's First Quarter Calendar Released; BNP Paribas Open Postponed; Federer Out of Australian Open; UTR January $25K Deadlines Approaching; More on USTA Junior Structure Changes

The ATP released its calendar for the first quarter of 2021 today, and the tournaments in the United States during that time are both in Florida: the 250 in Delray Beach beginning next week, and the 1000 Miami Open, scheduled for March 22 through April 4. 

The BNP Paribas Open, always held in early March, was the first tournament canceled this year due to the Corona virus, and it will not be happening in the spring of 2021 either, with the tournament making a brief announcement today.

The BNP Paribas Open will not be held March 8-21, 2021 as originally scheduled. The tournament is proactively working with the ATP and WTA Tours as well as title sponsor BNP Paribas to confirm dates later in the year to hold the event. Details will be released in the near future as plans are finalized.

This decision was made after thorough consultation with state and local health authorities and tournament owner Larry Ellison.

Speculation is that the tournament will move to the fall, possibly October.

Most of the events on the newly released ATP schedule are the lowest level 250s, with only three 500-level tournaments, in Rotterdam early in March, and in Acapulco and Dubai the same week in mid-March.

The ATP Cup, the team event similar to Davis Cup, will be played prior to the Australian Open, with teams from 12 countries, not 24 as was the case this year, taking part. Stephanie Myles has a look at what teams may participate here.

Yesterday it was announced that Roger Federer would not be participating in the Australian Open in February due to his recovery from knee surgery, and Lucas Pouille of France also pulled out, opting for a Challenger in France that week instead. Today, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also decided against competing in Melbourne, where he last played a match back in January of this year.

With no USTA Pro Circuit events (aside from the women's $60K in Rome the end of next month) currently on the calendar, the $25,000 UTR tournaments have picked up the slack, with back-to-back-to-back tournaments scheduled for the men in Naples Florida beginning on January 10th, and for the women in Newport Beach California during those same three weeks. 

The women are in Naples and the men are in Newport Beach for the tournaments in the first week of January, with registration closed for those events, but entries are being accepted for the three January tournaments, as well as those in Las Vegas, Charleston and Naples in February and March. The deadline for the January 10th tournaments is tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30, at 2 p.m. EST. See this page on the UTR website for more information on these tournaments.

The USTA's new Junior Tournament structure will debut in just a few days, and the Tennis Recruiting Network has more on the rollout in an article today. Maria Cercone, who is Director of Junior Tennis and Player Development for the USTA's Southern section, addresses some of the reasons the structure was revamped and what concerns have been at the forefront for players and coaches. 


Unknown said...

Hi Collette. I follow you regularly and I appreciate such an extensive rundown of future tournaments. I am wondering in your travels and conversations if anyone has explained why the ITF 15k and 25k tournaments for aspiring tennis professionals have completely been wiped off the U.S. map (exception AR), leaving players with no progress in ATP ranking. It is beyond disappointing that UTR tournaments can run, Delray Beach can run for higher ranked players, but 15k and 25ks cannot, and dreams/careers are being shattered. Maybe you could write an article about this. It needs attention. Thanks!

KDB said...

90 minutes after Naples Men's 2 deadline passed at 2pm 12/30, an Email was sent out by the TD: "we have made the decision to extend the registration deadline by 24 hours in order to best facilitate the strongest player field." I have seen many tournament deadlines extended before the original registration closed, but I have never seen a high level tourney re-opened after deadline. Bad precedent by UTR. We may boycott UTR tourneys for the rest of the year.

The PTS series was a great idea to replace the cancelled Futures in the US. A lot of goodwill could be generated by UTR in sponsoring these events. However, if they are going to play games with the deadlines, players and parents will not trust UtR and avoid other UTR events in the future.

Fearing competition? said...

Why would it matter that a tournament extended it's deadline unless someone is scared better players will enter? That's no mindset to have as a competitive tennis player or parent. My guess is a boycott by someone with this attitude wouldn't matter to any draw one bit.