Tennis

Houston Out, Marbella, Singapore In

The ATP will welcome new 250-level stops in Singapore and Marbella, while Houston has come off the 2021 calendar.

The men’s pro Tour has issued updates to the 2021 ATP Tour calendar in the face of scheduling challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The revision features the addition of two new ATP 250 events, granted as single-year licenses for the 2021 season, in Singapore, following the conclusion of the Australian Open, and Marbella, following the Miami Open presented by Itaú, from April 5th.

Other measures to create additional playing opportunities include the expansion of the Singles Main Draw/Qualifying Draw size at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships from 32/16 to 48/24, while the Qualifying Draw size at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel will increase from 16 to 32.

In addition, qualifying draw sizes at ATP 250 Cordoba Open, Argentina Open (Buenos Aires) and Chile Dove Men+Care Open (Santiago) are also to be expanded from 16 to 32.

The Hungarian Open, the ATP 250 clay-court tournament typically held in April in Budapest, has been approved for relocation to Belgrade, Serbia, from 2021.

The Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, the ATP 250 event held on Houston’s red clay, typically scheduled in April, has announced it will not take place in 2021.

“We did not arrive at this decision easily, but in consideration of a number of factors we feel that we should not move forward with holding an event this year,” said Houston tournament director Bronwyn Greer. “There are many facets to hosting our event and each of them need to sync up in order to successfully and safely orchestrate the tournament.

“Given the current conditions in our community, we feel it is best to not move forward and instead focus our energies on planning to welcome our fans and the ATP Tour players back to Houston in 2022.”

This will be the second straight year the tournament will not be held.

In 2020, the ATP Tour suspended tournament play from March until August due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship has been held every year since 1910 with the exception of 1928. River Oaks Country Club has hosted a tennis tournament since 1931, with the exception of 1942-45, and has been home to the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship since 2008.

Tennis Express

The ATP said it “continues to assess opportunities for additional single-year licenses to fill any gaps in the calendar and will communicate any additions in due course.”

Photo credit: U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship

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