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Saturday, December 19, 2020

WTA Announces Early 2021 Schedule; Australian Open Begins Ticket Sales Wednesday; ATP University Graduating Class Announced; Stanford's Fery Claims British Tour Masters Title

The WTA finally announced its schedule late last night, confirming earlier reporting on what the tour would look like from the beginning of January through mid-February.

Having recently announced a change in several areas, including designating tournaments in the same manner as the ATP, the WTA will have its first 500 event beginning January 5th in Abu Dhabi, followed by the Australian Open qualifying in Dubai. After the required 14-day quarantine, women will compete the week prior to the Australian Open at two 500 level tournaments in Melbourne, with the fields evenly divided. The second week of the Australian Open will feature another women's event, that one a 250 level. 

For more on the early 2021 WTA schedule, see this article from the WTA website.

With the state of Victoria finally giving official approval, Tennis Australia announced more details regarding the 2021 event, set to begin on February 8, on its website. This article from The Age contains the information that mixed doubles will be played; that competition was eliminated from the US Open and French Open this year. This article from The Age says ticket sales will be capped at 50% capacity, although it is possible spectator numbers will be limited further if there is an increase in virus cases. 

Additional information on the protocols facing the players can be found in this Australian Associated Press article

The ATP announced its annual University graduating class, which could not be held in its normal times and places this year due to the pandemic. Former UCLA Bruin Marcos Giron is one of the players quoted in the ATP's article.  The players are listed below; I have added bold type for those who played college tennis. 

Filippo Baldi, Nikola Cacic, Kimmer Coppejans, Federico Coria, Enzo Couacaud, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Gonzalo Escobar, Daniel Elahi Galan, Robert Galloway, Marcos Giron, Emilio Gomez, Andre Goransson, Tallon Griekspoor, Andrew Harris, Cem Ilkel, Nicola Kuhn, Nathaniel Lammons, Gianluca Mager, Joao Menezes, Nikola Milojevic, Sumit Nagal, Christopher O’Connell, Danilo Petrovic, Max Purcell, Emil Ruusuvuori, Thiago Seyboth Wild, Jannik Sinner, Carlos Taberner, Alejandro Tabilo, Mikael Torpegaard, Botic Van de Zandschulp, Juan Pablo Varillas, Aleksander Vukic, Yosuke Watanuki, J.J. Wolf, Mikael Ymer, Bernabe Zapata Miralles and Zhizhen Zhang.

Stanford freshman Arthur Fery has not had the typical first semester as a college student, but he has been able to pile up victories in the tournaments the Lawn Tennis Association has organized in his home country of Great Britain. Fery won another title today, that of the LTA British Tour Masters, which was a two-day event at the Roehampton training center. The 18-year-old Fery, currently No. 12 in the ITF junior rankings, defeated former Clemson standout Luke Johnson 6-4, 6-1 in the final.  Former ITF Junior No. 20 Emma Raducanu, who turned 18 last month, won the women's title, beating Marni Banks 6-1, 6-4.  Results from the tournament can be found here