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After AO 2024, a re-worked calendar awaits

  • Matt Trollope

The 2024 Aussie summer of tennis came to a fitting conclusion with a record-breaking Australian Open, yet the tennis world keeps turning.

The stars of women's tennis are currently working their way through the Middle East while this week there are concurrent ATP events on three different continents (Rotterdam, Delray Beach and Buenos Aires).

Following tweaks to the calendar, February has a slightly different look and feel, as will other parts of the upcoming season.

Here are five things you need to know about how professional tennis will play out in 2024.

1. New-look WTA 1000 series

In 2023, February’s Middle East swing was expanded to a three-week series through Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai.

In 2024, it grows further, with the Doha and Dubai tournaments permanently elevated to WTA 1000 status. Previously, they alternated between 500 and 1000 classification each year; whenever Doha was the 1000 tournament, Dubai was the 500, and the following year they would swap.

Doha and Dubai are the first two of 10 WTA 1000 tournaments in 2024, up from nine in 2023. The China Open in Beijing will expand to a 96-player draw over two weeks, while Wuhan could potentially return to the calendar – after a five-year absence – as the final WTA 1000 event of the season in the week of 7 October.

All tournament winners in this category will receive 1000 points as part of the WTA’s ranking point distribution changes in 2024.

2. Streamlined North American spring

Prior to March’s ‘Sunshine Double’ – the back-to-back staging of two-week events in Indian Wells and Miami – players will have additional opportunities to compete in the same region.

The ATP has moved its Los Cabos event from July to February, the week before to Acapulco, giving men the option of an uninterrupted eight weeks on North American hard courts (Dallas > Delray Beach > Los Cabos > Acapulco > Indian Wells > Miami)

The WTA has rescheduled its September tournament in San Diego to February, the week before Indian Wells.

3. The Olympic tennis event returns

The Paris 2024 Olympics means there will be a new tournament on the calendar beginning 27 July, overlapping with the WTA 500 event in Washington DC.

The Olympic Tennis Event will be staged on clay at Roland Garros; this could have the flow-on effect of boosting typically minor post-Wimbledon clay-court events, as players seek match practice ahead of their Olympic bid.

Those events are WTA 250 tournaments in Budapest, Palermo, Prague and Hamburg, while the men also play in Hamburg, as well as ATP 250 tournaments in Bastad, Gstaad, Kitzbuhel and Umag.

4. Re-worked Asian swing

After the US Open, professional tennis heads to Asia, with a total of 16 events – 10 of those being WTA tournaments.

On the women’s side, notable changes include the elevation of Seoul’s Korea Open to 500 status, the later staging of the 500-level Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, and the fact the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai won’t be staged at all. There’s also the potential return of Wuhan, currently listed as ‘TBD’ in the WTA 2024 calendar.

For the men, the ATP Japan Open returns to its typical calendar slot with the concurrent 500 event in Beijing; both events precede the Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai.

5. Other notes

On the WTA Tour, Seoul is one of five tournaments – the others being Linz, Strasbourg, Bad Homburg and Monterrey – being elevated from 250 to 500 level in 2024.

While the ATP 500 series of tournaments remains unchanged this year from 2023, the ATP announced that events in Dallas, Doha and Munich would be upgraded to 500 status from 2025.