In a move that mirrors the ATP, the WTA Tour will allow players to count results from March 2019 through December 2020 under a revised rankings system when tennis resumes next month.
“In order to balance fairness and flexibility for all players, the WTA Rankings will generally follow the ‘Better of 2019 and 2020’ point model, in alignment with the ATP Tour,” the WTA announced on Thursday.
“In reaching this decision, various elements were considered including the provisional 2020 revised calendar, various travel restrictions, varying levels of player comfort of traveling to compete, as well as the elimination of player commitment requirements for the remainder of 2020.”
The rankings on both tours have been frozen since the tours suspended operations in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both the ATP and WTA rankings have been based on a player’s performance over a 52-week period, with the points earned in any given week replacing the points earned in the same week the previous year.
But that system has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The WTA ranking will now be based on a 22-month period beginning in mid-March 2019 and ending in December 2020.
The WTA will issue rankings again after the first event since the shutdown, the Palermo Ladies’ Open, which starts on August 3.
Players will count their best 16 results in singles and best 11 in doubles during that window to determine their rankings points.
Players cannot use the same event twice if it was played in both 2019 and 2020.
The change is similar to the revision made by the ATP Tour.
The WTA has also added two events to its provisional schedule, with the Prague Open in the Czech Republic and the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky, to be played the week of August 10.
The WTA has yet to announce whether its end of year championships in China will go ahead.
Those events represent as much as 60 per cent of the WTAs annual turnover and would be a massive if lost or nor replaced with another venue.