Women’s tennis will return to the Queen’s Club for the first time since 1973 as the LTA confirmed that a new prominent event will kick off the grass court season in west London from 2025.

The new women’s event, a WTA 500 tournament, will be held at Queen’s, an iconic tennis club in Baron’s Court in the week after the French Open, the first of the three-week grass court season preceding Wimbledon. The event will be immediately followed by the annual ATP 500 event at Queen’s, which will remain in its usual spot.

The LTA has cited the move as an opportunity to provide the WTA with another significant high profile event in Great Britain and greater spotlight for women’s tennis. While the men’s and women’s events are both 500-level tournaments on their respective tours, the tournaments will not boast equal prize money.

“We have been looking at how we can improve that calendar,” said Chris Pollard, the LTA’s Digital and Events Director. “We wanted a significantly higher profile start to the grass court season. And that the three weeks before Wimbledon allow us to maximise visibility for tennis both in Britain and globally. We want to promote women’s tennis. Give an appropriate and equal platform to grow the audience.”

After meetings with the ATP this spring, particularly regarding what state the grass courts would be in for the men’s event after a week of wear, the LTA say that the ATP provided the tournament with the green light to advance with the two tournaments. During this process, LTA representatives have repeatedly asserted that the men’s tournament would not be negatively affected.

“We have absolute confidence that we can stage a two week event at the Queen’s Club,” said Pollard. “It goes without saying that the [Wimbledon] Championships itself has proven that the tournament can withstand two weeks of tennis.”

“The other thing we, with the All England Club, have heavily invested in is independent research over many years on the quality of grass as the tournament goes on. We’ve gotten independent data that we’ve taken from the Sports Turf Research Institute that really provides a lot of evidence that the men’s week will not suffer in any way, shape or form.”

Moving 500 to Queen’s will mean further changes to the overall grass season calendar. As recently as 2019, the Birmingham Classic was a 500 event, but next year it will be demoted to an ATP Challenger and ITF event, which will take place the second week of the French Open, replacing the Surbiton event.

The Eastbourne International, meanwhile, known for attracting a significant amount of top players and large crowds the week before Wimbledon, will also be downsized to a WTA 250 event alongside the ATP 250.

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The move will also mean that the three most significant annual British tennis tournaments will all take place in London, limiting the geographical spread of top level professional tennis, but it will certainly provide a far greater platform for women’s tennis than any other existing venue in the country.

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