ATP set to launch new grass tournament before Wimbledon
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ATP set to launch new grass tournament before Wimbledon

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The world governing body for male tennis has revealed that it will launch a new grass tournament to be held the week before Wimbledon from 2017.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) published its 2017 and 2018 calendar, with an update for 2016 also unveiled. The new tournament will coincide with the Aegon Open in Nottingham – a separate grass tournament – which begins the week commencing 26 June 2017. Wimbledon takes place a week later on 3 July.

An announcement on the new tournament will follow “in due course” according to the ATP, which confirmed its World Tour would expand into new markets in the coming months.

Bulgaria will host its first ever ATP World Tour tournament – the Garanti Koza Sofia Open – in February following the relocation of the tournament from Zagreb, Croatia. The Abierto Mexicano Los Cabos will be the second World Tour event held in Mexico, also in February, after relocation from Bogota, Colombia.

Additionally, Belgium will host its first ATP World Tour event, the European Open, since 1998 following the relocation of the tournament from Valencia, Spain, to Antwerp. The World Tour will now reach 32 countries.

The 2017 and 2018 calendar includes nine ATP World Tour Masters 1,000 events, 13 ATP World Tour 500s, and 40 ATP World Tour 250s.

“Our current structure of tournaments, as well as this phenomenal generation of players, has generated a significant growth in audience in recent year,” said ATP executive chair and president, Chris Kermode. “We’re delighted to have seen that trend continue in 2015, and to confirm our calendars through to 2018 as we look to ensure a period of stability and sustained growth for the Tour.”

The ATP revealed that the 2015 season had broken an “all-time on-site attendance record”, with 4.5m spectators attending events across the season. The global broadcast audience for the World Tour events also grew by 10 per cent year-on-year to 973m viewers.

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