The clay season is nearly upon us and there is plenty of tennis to look forward to after a disrupted 2020 season.
Tournaments like the Miami Open, Madrid Open, Halle, Eastbourne and Wimbledon were not played last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but all are set to return to the calendar in 2021.
Here’s what you can expect over the next few months from the ATP and WTA Tour…
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Miami Open – March 24-April 4

Aside from the Australian Open, this is the biggest event of the year so far.
It’s one of nine Masters 1000 tournaments for the men and one of four Premier Mandatory events for the women.
It’s usually preceded by Indian Wells – normally the largest tournament outside of the four majors - but that has been postponed this year.
Almost all of the top players are set to feature, including Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, although defending men’s champion Roger Federer will be absent as he continues his comeback from over a year out and Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are also not playing. Ashleigh Barty is the defending women’s champion and there will be limited fans in attendance.

Monte-Carlo Masters – April 11-18

The clay-court season kicks off on April 5 and the first Masters 1000 will be played in Monte Carlo.
It will likely be the first appearance of the season on clay for 11-time champion Nadal, while Novak Djokovic will likely feature too.
The tournament, which is just on the ATP Tour, will be played behind closed doors due to Covid-19.

Fabio Fognini wins Monte-Carlo

Image credit: Getty Images

Madrid and Rome - May 2-16

It’s back-to-back Masters events on the ATP Tour as the clay build-up to Roland-Garros continues. Madrid is a Premier Mandatory for the women, while Rome is a level below at Premier 5.
Madrid was not played last year but Rome was rescheduled to September and was won by Djokovic and Simona Halep.

Roland-Garros – May 23-June 6

The second Grand Slam of the year will be played in its traditional place on the calendar in 2021 after being pushed back to the end of September last year.
The move made for unique conditions as players battled wind and rain in Paris, but expect the sun to be shining much more this time around.
The change of date didn’t mean a change of champions on the men’s side as Nadal won for a record-extending 13th time, but Iga Swiatek made her Grand Slam breakthrough as she stormed to the title without dropping a set.

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Queen’s and Halle – June 14-20

Ah, grass.
It will be a warm welcome back to the calendar for the finely-manicured courts after the entire grass season was called off last year.
The first grass-court events take place as soon as Roland-Garros concludes on June 6, but Halle in Germany, and Queen’s in London, are the biggest events on the ATP calendar outside of Wimbledon.
The women play at a WTA Premier event in Berlin in the same week.

Roger Federer of Switzerland waves to the crowd after his defeat to Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the quarter final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex

Image credit: Getty Images

Eastbourne International – June 21-27

The final chance to tune-up the grass-court skills before Wimbledon.
Eastbourne is an event on both the ATP and WTA tours and is classed as a WTA Premier event and ATP 250.
American Taylor Fritz won the men’s tournament in 2019, while Karolina Pliskova was the women’s champion.

Wimbledon – June 28 –July 11

Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam not to be played in 2020 and it is unclear yet how many fans will be allowed through the gates.
However, it will be back on the calendar and there could be plenty at stake.
If Federer is going to win another Grand Slam then SW19 looks like the place he might do it, while Serena Williams will also be hoping for more success after losing in the final last time out in 2019.
Halep beat Williams in the last Wimbledon women’s final, while Djokovic staved off two championship points to beat Federer.

Play goes on on the outer courts at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 1, 2019, on the first day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Image credit: Getty Images

Olympics – July 24-30

Originally due to take place last summer, the Tokyo Olympic Games were pushed back a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
An Olympic medal will be high on the agenda for a number of players but it will be a quick turnaround for those who go deep in the draw at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray and Monica Puig are the defending champions.

US Open – August 30-September 12

The final Grand Slam of the year was packed with drama last year.
Played without fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Djokovic was disqualified in the fourth round for hitting the ball towards a line judge and Dominic Thiem took advantage to win his first Grand Slam title.
Naomi Osaka won the women’s title after beating Victoria Azarenka, who had overcome Serena Williams in the semi-finals.

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*The dates and tournaments for the rest of the season are yet to be confirmed
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