- Shanghai will replace Hamburg in the top-tier of tournaments on the ATP Tour in 2009.
On Friday, the ATP announced the venues which have been awarded '1000' status for their new-look calendar which will be launched in 2009.
- The '1000' tournaments - so named because the winner will receive 1,000 ranking points - will replace the existing Masters Series events, although the host cities have largely remained the same.
- Indian Wells, Miami, Rome, Madrid, Cincinnati, Canada (alternating between Montreal and Toronto), Shanghai and Paris were unveiled as top-tier hosts on Friday, joining Monte Carlo which had already won a battle to keep its top-level status having initially been dropped by the ATP.
Hamburg is axed in favour of Shanghai, currently the venue for the season-ending Masters Cup. That event, which is being renamed as the ATP Tour Finals, will be held at the O2 Arena in London in 2009.
New arenas in Madrid and Paris will stage events in those cities.
The second and third tiers of the 2009 tour will award 500 and 250 points to their winners respectively.
- Twenty-two venues have applied to stage tier-two events, but a decision on which will stage tournaments has yet to be made.
- The '1000' tournaments will be mandatory events for the leading players who could be suspended if they do not attend.
Etienne de Villiers, executive chairman of the ATP, said: "The 2009 ATP Tour is about the world's best tennis players performing in the world's very best stadiums at the right times of the season and we have now created a top tier that will showcase our sport, deliver substantially increased investment into our facilities and will attract more broadcast and sponsor support.
"Additionally, by creating more combined events we are taking the sport to a new level. I believe we now have a standard of top-tier event that the sport, its players, its sponsors and above all its fans truly deserve."
- It was also announced that by 2011, six of the nine 1000 tournaments will be combined events, being held at the same time as the women's WTA Tour events in the same city.
The final 2009 calendar will be announced at November's Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Nothing really new here except for the formal announcement that Hamburg is a goner.
More on this in the weekend review.