Queen’s Club to host WTA Tour event in 2025

The governing body has cited a desire to raise the profile of women’s tennis and promote it to more people for the changes, which will see the Birmingham and Eastbourne tournaments reduced in status.

The new women’s event, which will take place in the week following the French Open, means a tour level women’s tournament is coming to London for the first time in more than 50 years.

The Edgbaston Priory club in Birmingham, which has staged a WTA Tour event since 1982, will now host a combined men’s and women’s second-tier tournament in the second week of the French Open.

The joint men’s and women’s event in Nottingham will move to the same week as the men’s tournament at Queen’s, with the combined event in Eastbourne the week prior to Wimbledon now at the lowest 250 level for both tours.

The LTA revealed last month that a sticking point was concerns from the ATP over the impact on its event, second only in status to Wimbledon during the British grass swing, of a women’s tournament the previous week.

Edgbaston Priory will no longer stage a WTA Tour event (Simon Cooper/PA)

And Chris Pollard, the LTA’s director of major events and digital, admitted the arrangement could end up only being for a year if the male players are unhappy.

“We have absolute confidence that we can stage a two-week event at the Queen’s Club,” he said.

“Obviously the Championships at Wimbledon prove that grass can withstand two weeks of tennis. We’ve got independent data that really provides a lot of evidence that the men’s week will not suffer in any way, shape or form.

“We’ve had many discussions with both tours in respect of that. (The ATP) have given the green light for the tournament to take place in 2025 and we continue to have an ongoing dialogue with them in respect of the success of the 2025 tournament.

“They would like to consider what happens after 2025 but we remain in very close dialogue with them on that point and remain very confident that it will be a permanent change.”

Disparities in prize money levels between the tours mean the men will earn more money at their tournament, while Pollard stressed the LTA is committed to both events being on free-to-air TV.

Meanwhile, the second-tier event at Surbiton that has kicked off the grass-court season will be scrapped from next year but Ilkley will continue to host a men’s and women’s tournament.

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