Date named for return of international tennis to Eastbourne

It’s the first sign that international women’s tennis will return to Eastbourne in 2021.

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 12:00 pm
Karolina Pliskova celebrates winning the women's singles final against Angelique Kerber at Devonshire Park in 2019 / Picture: Getty

The Women’s Tennis Association released a provisional 2021 schedule through the end of Wimbledon in July – and Eastbourne is on the list.

Although it is too early to say howe many fans will be allowed into such events by the summer, the fact that elite sport is continuing throughout the country’s new lockdown has to be good news for Devonshire Park.

At the moment the WTA is largely sticking to a traditional calendar, including the Miami Open in March.

The line-up, released on Tuesday, tacks on 20 weeks to the tour’s initial announcement covering the year’s first seven weeks, including the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open that began on Wednesday.

The Billie Jean King Cup finals and play-off series will start on April 12, the French Open on May 23, and Wimbledon — which was cancelled last year for the first time since 1945 because of the coronavirus pandemic — on June 28.

Eastbourne’s week, as usual, slots into the week before Wimbledon, starting on June 21.

Elsewhere the Australian Open is slated for Febraury 8-21 and there will be a WTA 500 event in Australia, followed by 500- or 1000-level events starting in Doha on March 1; Dubai on March 8; St Petersburg, Russia on March 15; Miami on March 22; Charleston, South Carolina, on April 5; Stuttgart, Germany, on April 19; Madrid on April 26; Rome on May 10 and Berlin on June 14