Tennis-WTA announce provisional calendar up to Wimbledon championships

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(Reuters) - The WTA announced a provisional calendar for the women's tour on Tuesday with events lined up until the Wimbledon championships in June-July.

The sport's governing body had previously announced the first seven weeks of the tour, starting with the season-opening WTA 500 event in Abu Dhabi from Thursday.

Apart from the three Grand Slams -- Australian Open (starting Feb. 8), French Open (May 23) and Wimbledon (June 28) -- the first half of the year will have four WTA 1000 events in Dubai and Miami (both in March), Madrid (April) and Rome (May).

Other WTA 500 events on the schedule include Doha and St Petersburg (March) and Charleston and Stuttgart (April).

The rebranded Fed Cup, now known as the Billie Jean King Cup, is scheduled to start on April 12.

However, there is no new date announced for the prestigious BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, often called the "fifth major" and usually held in March, which was postponed last week due to COVID-19 concerns.

The 2020 edition of the tournament was the first major professional sporting event in the United States cancelled in the wake of the pandemic, on the eve of its scheduled start.

The WTA also said it has yet to decide on the dates for its season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China after last year's edition was cancelled due to the pandemic.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)