As expected there will be a big shake up on the grass court schedule for 2020.
It was rumoured a while back that the WTA Premier event down in Birmingham was at risk of being downgraded and in 2020 it will go down to a WTA International meaning prize money will drop from about $1 million to $250,000. Part of this will see the event look at cutting the losses but will have to potentially leave themselves with less top players.
Tickets prices have been released and prices are pretty the much the same leaving fans confused as less top players will most likely be heading to Birmingham.
There has been an issue in the past with footfall at Birmingham despite a host of top names and now attentions will head elsewhere.
Instead a new WTA Premier event will take place the same week in Berlin which is partially funded by Wimbledon.
Expectations are that the top seeds like Osaka, Kvitova, Svitolina and Barty will head there.
Elsewhere the ATP event in Nottingham has also gone and the Mallorca Open is now an ATP event for 2020 with Berlin a new WTA Premier on grass.
Another new potential tournament in Bad Homburg in Germany is awaiting approval for the last week before Wimbledon.
The schedule following Roland Garros is as follows;
ATP – s’Hertogenbosch & Stuttgart
WTA – s’Hertogenbosch & Nottingham
ATP – Halle & Queens Club
WTA – Berlin & Birmingham
ATP – Eastbourne & Mallorca
WTA – Eastbourne & Bad Hamburg (awaiting approval)
Big questions will be asked at Birmingham which will be desperate for big names but 75% of prize money has gone and less points will be on offer.
Will defending champion Ash Barty be back? British number Jo Konta?