Hengqin International Tennis Center in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong province. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
The Women's Tennis Association has released its calendar for the 2020 season, featuring two new venues for Premier tournaments - a hardcourt event in Adelaide, Australia, at the start of the season and a grasscourt event in Berlin.
Additionally, three new cities - Lyon in France, Bad Homburg in Germany and Albany, New York - will host International-level tournaments.
The 2020 calendar features a total of 60 tournaments: 55 WTA events, four Grand Slams and the Olympics. The 55 WTA tournaments will take place in 28 countries and regions.
The season starts the week of Jan 6 with three tournaments - a Premier event in Brisbane and International events in Auckland, New Zealand, and Shenzhen.
In the second week, a new hardcourt Premier event will be staged in Adelaide (relocated from Sydney), along with an International event in Hobart, leading into the Australian Open.
The grasscourt season now encompasses two tournaments in Germany, featuring a Premier event in Berlin (relocated from Birmingham, England), where the WTA returns in early June after an 11-year absence. An International event (relocated from Mallorca, Spain) replaces the Premier event in Birmingham.
Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt, will host a new grasscourt International event (relocated from Istanbul) the week of June 22.
The 32 WTA International-level tournaments will see a 10 percent increase in prize money, with each offering at least $275,000. There will continue to be annual prize money increases thereafter.
Lyon (week of March 2) and Albany (week of Aug 24) will host new International tournaments. Lyon is a relocation from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and will be an indoor hardcourt event, while Albany, relocated from Quebec City, will be played on outdoor hardcourts, taking place the week prior to the US Open.
The top eight singles players and doubles teams of the 2020 season will earn the right to compete at the Shiseido WTA Finals in Shenzhen.