LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said on Wednesday it would invest in grass court tournaments in Europe to improve player preparation ahead of the Wimbledon championships in 2020.
The plan includes investments into new grass courts in Stuttgart and Mallorca, with the AELTC set to become the owner, rights or licence holder of four new tournaments through collaborations.
"A strong and successful grass court season is absolutely critical to the future of grass court tennis and thus the future success of the (Wimbledon) championships," AELTC chairman Philip Brook said in a statement here
“Having worked to expand the grass court season to be a meaningful gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon, we’re pleased to be making these significant further investments into ensuring that quality grass court tournaments can be provided at all levels of the professional game.”
The French Open next year ends on June 7 with Wimbledon set to begin three weeks later on June 29.
While the first week of the grass court swing remains unchanged with events in Nottingham (WTA), ‘s-Hertogenbosh (ATP and WTA) and Stuttgart (ATP), the second week will feature a new WTA event in Berlin.
London and Halle will continue to host ATP events in the second week.
An ATP 250 event in Mallorca will be added to the calendar in the third week while Bad Homburg is set to host a new WTA event, which is subject to approval, with events in Antalya and Istanbul being replaced. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)