WASHINGTON, May 22, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)
In the midst of all the headlines generated from multiple ATP and WTA tournaments taking place in European leading up to the start of this year’s Roland Garros in Paris – coupled with the announcement that this year’s BNP Paribas Open would take place in October after being postponed from its usual mid-March slot – World TeamTennis is returning this year at a new time, in a new location and with an adjusted lineup of teams.
World TeamTennis will host its 2021 season in November instead of July, and instead of its usual nine franchises playing a home and away schedule, there will be five teams and all of them will converge on Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., from November 13-28. A total of 31 matches over 16 days will be contested.
“We are extremely excited to announced that we are hosting our 2021 season at the greatest tennis destination site in the world,” WTT chairman and CEO Eric Davidson said in a press release posted on the WTT website this week. “The state-of-the-art facility, world class players, incredible weather and destination location will make the 2021 season one of the most enjoyable yet for our fans.”
WTT IS BACK! We are happy to announce that we will be hosting the entire 2021 season at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden from November 13 – 28 💥 pic.twitter.com/hQWO1gdJ5b
— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) May 20, 2021
According to the WTT, the move from July (post-Wimbledon, pre-US Open) to November was done to ensure “the opportunity to safely host as many spectators as possible.”
This will be the second straight season the WTT has been held in a single venue following the 2020 season that took place at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, which yielded a peak TV viewership of over 1.1 million for last year’s final.
Defending champions New York Empire will be joined by the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers, Orange County (Calif.) Breakers, San Diego Aviators and Chicago Smash. Not fielding teams in the upcoming season are the Washington Kastles, Philadelphia Freedom Vegas Rollers and Orlando Storm. These teams are expected to return for the 2022 season.
Former World No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters will return for her fourth WTT season for the New York Empire. Also, 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens is back for Chicago, John Isner is back for his ninth WTT season and first for Orange County, and top-ranked American Taylor Fritz will play for San Diego.
Even better, Kim Clijsters is back and ready to lead us in our quest defend the King Trophy 🏆
If you want to come and support the Empire in person, season packages will go on pre-sale to Empire fans on Tuesday, May 25th!
Read more about the season at https://t.co/uKWajwm7pM
— New York Empire (@nyempiretennis) May 20, 2021
News & noteworthy
• The 2021 WTT schedule will be released soon and will feature two matches per day. Each team will play a 12-game schedule and the top two teams in the regular-season standings will advance to play for the King Trophy, named after WTT founder Billie Jean King, on November 28.
• All-session tickets on go on pre-sale to previous WTT ticket buyers on May 25 and to the general public starting on May 27 at WTT.com.