World Table Tennis (WTT) has announced the first half of the 2021 WTT calendar, including three separate “Hubs” to be staged in the Middle East, China and Europe.
According to the calendar, the first Hub will be staged between March 17 and April 3 next year in the Middle East, followed by those in China from April 13 to May 16 and in Europe from May 27 to June 20.
“The Hubs will showcase the new WTT event structure and the China Hub will feature the very first Grand Smash, the top tier in professional table tennis,” WTT said in a statement on Friday.
It said that the proposed Hub format would create the best possible environment for WTT events to be held, ensure better logistics for meeting Covid-19 health and safety guidelines and a manageable travel schedule for players.
Following the three Hubs, the WTT calendar will take a break to accommodate the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games to be held between July 23 and August 8. After the Olympic Games, the WTT hopes to return to a modified calendar of events.
The WTT Champions Series will also see players battling for prize money and ranking points in their attempt to reach the WTT Cup Finals.
“2021 is a landmark year for the sport and we remain committed to offering our fans, both old and new, the opportunity to watch world-class table tennis that is refreshed, re-energised and redefined,” said Stephen Duckitt, WTT Event Strategy Director.
The WTT event structure features Grand Smash, WTT Cup Finals, WTT Champions, WTT Star Contender and WTT Contender.