In a couple of weeks time players on the WTA tour who weren’t heading to Dubai were heading to Debrecen in Hungary for the WTA International event on the hard court.
2019 was the final year of the event being held in Budapest with it moving to Debrecen in 2020 but it will not take place in two weeks time.
Why is that?
Because the WTA didn’t book the stadium.
On October 15th 2019 the WTA released the calendar without it on there but it has appeared all of a sudden without securing the venue.
This has gone from one to another without any clear understanding on what has happened. Players were apparently told that Budapest was moving to Debrecen but the players weren’t informed the venue wasn’t available.
The cancellation has only been confirmed by the WTA on the 1st of February despite this being brought to attention during the Australian Open. A statement from the WTA says:
“The WTA tournament to take place in Debrecen, Hungary the week February 17 will not be held due to unanticipated complications in securing the venue. We initially understood the facility to be available for a WTA event but learned last week that another event was booked for the same week, causing a schedule conflict.
We have been diligently working to find a solution so that the tournament could continue. Unfortunately, that was not possible.”
In the statement the WTA have also pointed out there are plenty of ITF playing opportunities that week and have increased the qualifying draw for Dubai.
It doesn’t end there…
Last year the week before Madrid were WTA International Tournaments in Prague and Morocco and before Roland Garros was Strasbourg and Nurnberg.
2019 was the last Nurnberg event having been discontinued so Rabat was moved from week before Madrid to week before Roland Garros.
This now leaves just one event in the week leading up to Madrid which is believed not to be ideal for the WTA tour as they look for a way around it.
Having already lost Nurnberg which was not replaced and no event in Debrecen it does leave players lower down the rankings outside the top 60 facing a potential battle to play main tour events before Roland Garros.
Hopes will be on not too many higher ranked players signing up to international events and more emphasis will be on qualifying for Madrid and Rome.
There are rumours that one of the four clay events after Wimbledon could move in the calendar to around Madrid but it is unlikely.