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ATP enhances 2015 grass-court season

Feb. 10, 2014 at 8:18 AM

LONDON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The ATP on Monday released its 2015 schedule, which gives greater weight to the grass-court season.

The ATP said it will sanction 62 tournaments in 31 countries, expanding the grass-court season to three weeks before its most famous grass-court tournament -- the Wimbledon Championships.

Wimbledon will be pushed back a week from the French Open, providing an extra week for more grass-court tournaments. Starting next year there will be three weeks between the end of the French event and the start of Wimbledon.

The grass-court season is to begin June 8 with tournaments in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, and Stuttgart, Germany. The following week will see events in Halle, Germany, and London, with the Aegon 250 in Nottingham, England, the week before Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is scheduled for June 29-July 12, with the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships starting July 13 in Newport, R.I., to complete the grass-court season.

Halle and London will be changed to ATP World Tour 500 events, making them more important to the rankings.

"The extended grass-court season, with additional Emirates ATP Rankings points at stake, is a positive step forward," ATP President Chris Kermode said. "One of our assets as a sport is to provide for variance across playing surfaces throughout the season, so the strengthening of the grass-court season is a significant enhancement for the overall calendar."

Key dates for the ATP 2015 season include:

Australian Open: Jan. 19-Feb. 1

French Open: May 25-June 7

Wimbledon Championships: June 29-July 12

U.S. Open: Aug. 31-Sept. 13

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Nov. 16-22

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