Queen’s Club to host first WTA tournament since 1973 as other British grass events suffer | Tennis | Sport

The LTA has confirmed a shake-up to the British grass season in 2025, with the Queen’s Club set to stage a women’s tournament for the first time since 1973. The West London club will be the home of a new WTA 500 event held a week before the ATP offering. But other tournaments, including those in Birmingham and Eastbourne, will suffer as a result.

Women’s tennis will return to the Queen’s Club for the first time in more than 50 years as part of a revamped grass schedule announced on Thursday. The new WTA 500 event will take place in the second week of the British grass season and the first week after the French Open, commencing on June 9, 2025.

The historic tennis club is already home to an ATP 500 tournament, which will keep its current spot in the calendar and be played the week after the new WTA offering. After drawing from independent research and experience from other venues, including Wimbledon, the LTA confirmed that the grass would still hold up for two weeks for both the women’s and men’s events, offering an „excellent playing surface“.

The LTA also said that the temporary infrastructure built for the ATP competition at the Queen’s Club would remain in place for two weeks, „allowing for better usage from the investment in it.“

The addition of a WTA 500 at Queen’s means several other tournaments will suffer and be downgraded to a lower tier. Eastbourne, which has traditionally been a 500-point event for the women, will now be a WTA 250.

The East Sussex coastal tournament will remain in its current spot in the calendar, taking place the week before Wimbledon. Meanwhile, the WTA 250 event in Birmingham will be downgraded to a Challenger event for the women, with the exact category to be confirmed.

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Priory Club will stage a combined, men-and-women Challenger in the first week of the grass schedule from June 2, 2025. It means that the current Challenger in Surbiton will come to an end after 2024.

The WTA 250 in Nottingham will be moved to the same week as the ATP 500 in Queen’s, to be played the week commencing June 16, 2025. There will also be an ATP 125 Challenger in Nottingham in the same week.

And the Ilkley Lawn Tennis Club will stage a combined Challenger event in the same week as the new WTA 500 at the Queen’s Club, with the exact points classification to be confirmed.

The changes to the calendar mean that tennis fans outside of London will be unable to see top WTA players. Current WTA rules mean that only one top-10 player and two players ranked 11-30 can compete in a 250-point tournament.

Players in the top 30 are not allowed to compete at a WTA 250 event if there is also a WTA 500 held in the same week. There is a WTA 500 in Berlin in the same week as the WTA 250 in Nottingham, and a WTA 500 in Bad Homburg in the same week as the WTA 250 in Eastbourne, meaning top stars will be prevented from entering the lower-level UK grass events.

However, there are some exceptions. The defending champion and players from a country in which the tournament is held – in this case, the UK – are allowed to enter the WTA 250 offering instead of the rival 500-point event. But there cannot be more than one top-10 player in the draw, even if multiple top players qualify for the exceptions.

It means that Queen’s will likely be the only draw for higher-ranked WTA players, who would then be limited from playing in Nottingham and Eastbourne.

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