By Aron Solomon,

BOX SCORE | NEW YORK (May 17, 2022)

On Monday, the Women’s Tennis Association released some of what we all knew was coming – their updated 2022 tour schedule.

It was of course not optional. By suspending all operations in China in 2022 in response to Peng Shuai’s current situation, women’s professional tennis surprised many by not only making but sticking to this bold move.

The WTA has released these updates to its 2022 tour schedule:

Week 30 (July 25) – WTA 250 BNP Paribas Poland Open moves from Gdynia to Warsaw, Poland

Week 37 (September 12) – WTA 250 Japan Women’s Open in Osaka, Japan

Week 38 (September 19) – WTA 500 Toray PPO Tennis in Tokyo, Japan and WTA 250 Hana Bank Korea Open in Seoul, South Korea

Week 39 (September 26) – WTA 250 Tallinn Open in Tallinn, Estonia

Week 40 (October 3) – WTA 500 J&T Banka Ostrava Open in Ostrava, Czech Republic and WTA 250 Jasmin Open Tunisia in Monastir, Tunisia

Week 41 (October 10) – WTA 500 San Diego Open in San Diego, California and WTA 250 Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Week 42 (October 17) – WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico

Several things caught my eye when I first read the press release.

The first is that the Tokyo event was to be a WTA 1000 event. Of course, the WTA needs to limit the number of events at each of the point levels (in other words, just because we believe a city is amazing, we can’t just add a bunch of level 1000 events), but Tokyo is, well, Tokyo. But this September swing in East Asia is a fantastic replacement for the Chinese tournaments.

That Tallinn and Monastir are hosting a 250 and 500 event is great. In a practical sense, the WTA is riding a wave of its own creation relying on the groundbreaking Estonian and Tunisian stars of Annet Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur, both of whom are strong contenders for the Tour finals. I would have liked to see Tallinn be a WTA 500 event, but making it 250 could see both Kontaveit and Estonia’s other top Kaia Kanepi enjoy the kind of deep run in the tournament that will elevate Estonian tennis and motivate the next generation of players.

The return of the Transylvania Open was immediately welcomed by fans on social media. Last year’s tournament was a colossal success in person and on social media, with Romania’s Jacqueline Cristian sporting a Dracula cape over her tennis gear to the delight of international media. As she recovers from serious knee surgery, she is well on her way to touring again before Cluj.

Finally, hosting a WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara in October is great. Yet that rules out what many of us had hoped for – that the WTA would copy last year and make this fantastic Mexican city host of this year’s finals.

But I see this as a real opportunity for the WTA. There is a strong case for returning to Indian Wells, Tennis Paradise, for the WTA Finals, which are tentatively set to begin on October 31.

First of all, it’s known in the tennis world as Tennis Paradise for a good reason – players love to play there and it’s absurdly picturesque. Indian Wells is located in Palm Desert, California, a few miles from Palm Springs and just over two hours from Los Angeles, without traffic, which is never the case. The venue is ideal for television, and nothing about hosting a major event will be new; Since it’s already the venue for the WTA 1000 tournament, many players and fans (raises their hands) are considering the Baby Grand Slam.

But whether it’s in Indian Wells, Los Angeles proper (rumoured) or anywhere else in the world, this year’s WTA Finals will be magnificent. Not quite halfway through the season yet, and with the second Grand Slam of the year having started qualifying matches yesterday, the run to the WTA Finals is shaping up to be one of the best ever. .

While Iga Swiatek has a huge lead in the race and the #1GA social media hashtag after becoming the best player in the world and riding a 28-game winning streak, only 336 points currently separate the number 8 player in the race for the finals from the number 16 player. What an exciting five and a half months ahead as we solidify the field of eight players who will play for the crown.

About Aron Solomon

A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the chief legal analyst for digital sketch and the editor of Today’s Squire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania and was elected to the Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron was featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA today, ESPN, Tech Crunch, The hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, business beat, The Independent, fortune china, yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, NewsBreakand many other leading publications.