The WTA has posted their tentative 2006 schedule.pdf
, which is reproduced below with links to most tourney websites. Notable differences from 2005:
1) No tourneys are scheduled for the week of April 24th
, which follows the 1st round (QFs) of the Fed Cup. If this gap is not filled, players who are not participating in the Fed Cup (and their fans) will have 2 weeks to kill before another WTA tourney, and everyone will have 1 week empty.
2) The French Open main draw will begin on Sunday
, rather than Monday, to raise TV revenues, making Roland Garros a 15-day tourney
. The US Open is considering making the same change.
3) Roland Garros and Wimbledon are both 6 days later than in 2005
; the US Open 1 day earlier, clustering these three slams a week closer together. It would be nice if they could dig up a couple more grass court tourneys and have 3 weeks between Roland Garros & Wimbledon, but this, of course, would be very difficult.
4) The Hyderabad, India, tourney has been moved to Bangalore
, and a new event has been added in Tel Aviv
5) The Advanta tourney in Philadelphia has disappeared.
This is unfortunate; it leaves the Tour with only 1 small tourney the week before the WTA Championships.
6) Standard purses have been raised:
Tier I is up $40,000, Tier II is $15,000 higher, Tier III & IV are up $5,000. Tier V has been eliminated.
2006 WTA Tour Calendar
French Open to pay men and women equally
PARIS (AP) — French Open organizers have decided to pay men and women equal prize money and add a 15th day to the tournament.
Christian Bimes, head of the French Tennis Federation, said the changes would start at next year's tournament, which will run over three weekends — from Sunday, May 28-June 11.
Of the four Grand Slams, the Australian Open and the U.S. Open already pay equal prize money. The French Open's new policy leaves Wimbledon as the last of the four majors to pay women less.
At this year's French Open, men's singles champion Rafael Nadal won $1,068,232 and women's winner Justine Henin-Hardenne received $1,052,451.
Organizers see a Sunday start as a way to increase TV coverage, attendance and revenue. Adding a day could also allow some players to get an extra rest day during the tournament. The French Open has traditionally started on a Monday.
Bimes made the announcement after lengthy negotiations with the men's and women's tours and the Grand Slam Committee.
"The common conclusion is that this initiative is good for promoting tennis in the world," he said.
nice, French Open is during 15 days. Tires to the players though...