Following on from the success of the behind-closed-doors events during lockdown, the LTA is staging the season-ending LTA British Tour Masters on Friday 18 to Saturday 19 December at the at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton
During the summer, almost 300 matches for men and women were staged by the LTA across 9 new ‘Return to Elite’ British Tour events at the NTC to meet the competitive and financial needs of a wider pool of players.
The Masters will showcase the top 6 men and the top 6 women in points earned across all British Tour events staged this year, 24 in all, with 2 wild cards in each gender division.
Currently the leaderboard’s top two points earners are Arthur Fery and Grace Piper.
Each Masters champion will be competing for £3,000 first prize across the two-day event.
River Media, who this year ran the inaugural UK Pro Series, will stage nine additional combined domestic events for men and women in 2021.
The first 8 will act as qualifying tournaments in 8 different venues, starting in February.
These events run across the whole year, complementary to the LTA’s domestic calendar, culminating in a ‘Classic’ week in early November, featuring the best male and female performers across the season.
The LTA has worked hard to provide our players with additional competition and earning opportunities since elite tennis tournaments could resume in June. In fact over 110 players took part in our British Tour events at the NTC this summer, with slightly more women doing so. We continue to develop our plans for 2021 and are committed to hosting international ITF World Tennis Tour events as soon as we are able and it is safe to do so. Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive
Battle of the Brits
A second edition of the ‘Battle of the Brits’ will be held next week, from 20-23 December at the NTC, with former World No 1 Andy Murray confirmed to compete.
It is the third event staged this year by Murray’s brother, Jamie. and the LTA, and will feature 16 male and female players in a 30-match league format.
The matches will be on the same surface used at the Australian Open, which begins on 8 February in Melbourne.
In addition to Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Heather Watson, Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie, Harriet Dart, Jay Clarke, Jodie Burrage and James Ward have also agreed to take part.
“All the players were keen to get the chance to test themselves before the season begins,” said Jamie Murray.
“It’s been such an unusual year, with so many disruptions that any competitive tennis people can get is welcome. Even in pre-season nobody likes to lose to their friends, so we’re expecting some tight matches.”
In August’s last event, Andy Murray partnered Naomi Broady to victory in the doubles, before Joe Salisbury teamed up with Dart to defeat Jamie Murray & Watson and secure a 63-56 overall win for the British Bulldogs against the Union Jacks.
Fed Cup Qualifier
For fans of international women’s team tennis, the dates and venue of the forthcoming Billie Jean King Cup World Group qualifier tie against Mexico will be announced after confirmation of when the 2021 Australian Open is taking place.
“The LTA has worked hard to provide our players with additional competition and earning opportunities since elite tennis tournaments could resume in June,” Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said. “In fact over 110 players took part in our British Tour events at the NTC this summer, with slightly more women doing so.
“The pandemic also gave us the opportunity to explore new innovative tournament formats for the first time, working collaboratively with new partners to help fund and facilitate these.
“We continue to develop our plans for 2021 and are committed to hosting international ITF World Tennis Tour events as soon as we are able and it is safe to do so.
“In the meantime, we are excited to announce the next wave of events at the NTC in December, providing an outstanding competitive environment for our Wheelchair and British Tour players ahead of their preparation for the new season.”
For more information and to watch live action from the Battle of the Brits Premier League Tennis, be sure to follow the LTA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.