The WTA announced Thursday it would align with the ATP by adjusting its ranking system to a 22-month period in response to the disruption, and ambiguity, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made after the WTA Players’ Council and Tournament Council reviewed the structure in place to determine how best to balance objectivity and flexibility. It was determined that the “Better of 2019 or 2020” model was most accommodating, which will result in singles players counting their best 16 results for points earned between March 2019 and December 2020 when competition resumes.
Like the ATP’s modification, players won’t be permitted to count the same tournament twice, and points will drop off after 52 weeks or whenever the event is staged in 2021, whichever instance comes first. The rankings were officially frozen on March 16, 2020, with Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova positioned in the Top 3.
In a separate announcement, the tennis world learned Kentucky will host a WTA event for the first time. Played in Lexington, the inaugural Top Seed Open will begin the week of August 10, along with fellow International-level event Prague, also confirmed to be on the calendar Thursday.
TOURNAMENT UPDATE ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/M5fPFwDFYk— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) July 9, 2020
Octagon and the WTA opted to move the tournament to Lexington from Washington D.C., where the Citi Open has held separate men’s and women’s events the past nine years. The relocation is just for 2020, according to a statement from the Citi Open.
“We still plan to present women’s tennis during this year’s Citi Open and look forward to hosting the women’s tournament in Washington D.C. next year and long into the future,” it said.
Could that presentation include Coco Gauff? The teenager, who won the Washington doubles crown with Caty McNally in 2019, was previously announced as an early commitment last December.
The Citi Open is set to launch the return of the ATP tour on August 13. World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, last year’s runner-up to Nick Kyrgios, told Eurosport in a recent Instagram Live that he has “signed up” to play.
Earlier in the day, the Associated Press reported that the General Administration of Sports in China has decided not to put on any further international events in 2020. The WTA tour's revised 2020 schedule includes seven WTA-level tournaments in China, including the WTA Finals Shenzhen. The ATP has not announced its calendar restructuring beyond Roland Garros, scheduled to end October 11.