The ATP released its 2015 schedule and the big reveal was an extra week of grass court tennis was added between the French Open and Wimbledon.
The third week which was first announced in July of 2012 is a much-welcomed change to the calendar.
“The extended grass-court season, with additional Emirates ATP Rankings points at stake, is a positive step forward,” said new ATP CEO Chris Kermode who use to run the Queen’s event. “One of our assets as a sport is to provide for variance across playing surfaces throughout the season, so the strengthening of the grass-court season is a significant enhancement for the overall calendar. In particular, I would like to thank the All England Club, led by Philip Brook, for the instrumental role it has played in achieving this positive outcome.”
Kermode’s former Queen’s event and Halle will now become a ATP 500 level tournaments starting next year. And Stuttgart will move from clay to grass, sliding the week before Queen’s with Holland. Nottingham, which had been a Challenger event, returns the week before Wimbledon.
Among other quirks for U.S. tennis fans, the Australian Open men’s final will be played the day of Super Bowl 49. The NFL will also collide with the US Open on both the middle and final weekends which includes the traditional Sunday men’s final to be aired on ESPN. And on a sobering note, the U.S. has just 11 events on the 2015 calendar, same as this year. In 1985 there were 23.
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