London, UK — The All England Club has welcomed the release of the ATP World Tour calendar for 2015, which, for the first time, will incorporate a three-week grass-court swing in the lead up to The Championships, Wimbledon.
The extended grass-court swing will be comprised of ATP events in Stuttgart, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, London-Queen’s, Halle, and Nottingham (previously held as a 28-draw in Eastbourne). Newport will continue to be held the week after Wimbledon.
The WTA calendar meanwhile will feature events in Nottingham, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Birmingham, and Eastbourne.
Philip Brook, Chairman of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, said: “We have been delighted with the response to our initiative for the creation of a three-week gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon and the establishment of a longer and more significant grass court season within the international tennis calendar. Nottingham has been a successful venue for grass court tennis and the new ATP250 event will offer the players another excellent opportunity to prepare for The Championships, while giving tennis fans the chance to see more top class tennis entertainment.”
“The extended grass-court season, with additional Emirates ATP Rankings points at stake, is a positive step forward,” said Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President. “One of our assets as a sport is to provide for variance across playing surfaces throughout the season, so the strengthening of the grass-court season is a significant enhancement for the overall calendar. In particular, I would like to thank the All England Club, led by Philip Brook, for the instrumental role it has played in achieving this positive outcome.”
The re-categorisation of Queen's and Halle as ATP World Tour 500 events is particularly significant, bringing the grass-court season additional weight in the 52-week ATP Rankings with a 75 per cent increase in points attributed to the surface.
Similarly, from 2014, Birmingham will be re-categorised as a WTA Premier event, boosting the prestige of the region's historic grass court event. From 2015, the WTA Premier event at Eastbourne's Devonshire Park will expand to a 48-draw as the men's event moves to Nottingham, where it will also be a 48-man draw.
From 2015, the ATP World Tour and WTA grass court season will run as follows:
2015 Grass Court Season 8-14 June (week 1)
2015 Grass Court Season 15-21 June (week 2)
2015 Grass Court Season 22-28 June (week 3)
2015 Grass Court Season 29 June -12 July (weeks 4 and 5)