The WTA Tour revised its provisional 2020 schedule and player rankings method Thursday as women’s tennis prepare to return from a coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
The WTA plans to return August 3 with the Palermo Ladies Open and two more events were unveiled Thursday for the week of August 10, the Prague Open in the Czech Republic and the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky.
The US event replaces a hardcourt Washington stop that typically was played alongside an ATP Tour event. “As the WTA Tour looks to return to competition in 2020, we are pleased to provide additional playing opportunities for our athletes,” WTA chairman Steve Simon said.
The WTA rankings system calculates player results for ratings used for seedings and entry into tournament draws, typically drawing upon a woman’s top 16 singles results or 11 doubles results over the past 52 weeks, with some events weighted more.
The rankings were frozen on March 16 due to the Covid-19 hiatus, with rankings extended beyond 52 weeks even as the tour reviewed what needed to be done upon returning to play.
Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, tops the frozen women’s singles rankings. The WTA will follow a better of 2019 and 2020 model with player commitment requirements eliminated for 2020.
The revised system will have a player’s best 16 singles or 11 doubles results in events from March 2019 and December 2020 with the best of 2019 and 2020 points to be used. No player, however, can count the same WTA event or Grand Slam tournament twice in compiling her rankings.
Points added in 2020 will drop after the same event is set to be played in 2021 or after 52 weeks, whichever comes first. Qualifying for the WTA Finals Shenzhen was tweaked with a player’s 16 best results from 2020 events to be used in the Race to Shenzhen singles standings, with the top eight players qualifying for the WTA Finals.
American Sofia Kenin, ranked fourth, leads the Race to Shenzhen after winning the Australian Open in January.