The teaser image for World Table Tennis ©ITTF

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has opened the bidding process for hosting World Table Tennis (WTT) events in 2021 ahead of its rebranding of major tournaments.

Potential hosts must state their interest ahead of the deadline on April 10 before submitting their final bids in May, with hosts confirmed in June. 

The headline competitions will be the Grand Smashes - four major events set to become the elite WTT tournaments described as the equivalent of "Wimbledon for tennis and the Masters for golf".

These Grand Smashes will bring the largest sums of prize money ever seen to the sport.

The ambition is to have four cities host the majors every year, with the ITTF hoping that the cities will be "taken over by a table tennis festival" annually. 

The new World Table Tennis marquee events set for 2021 ©ITTF
The new World Table Tennis marquee events set for 2021 ©ITTF

The lower-tier WTT Cup Finals and WTT Champions Series aim to bring the sport to unique locations, with an aim to promote tourism in the host city.

These competitions will be played on one table and inspiring destinations are preferred - such as "New York Grand Central Station or the Pyramids of Giza".

Finally, the WTT Contender Series gives the opportunity for developing players to play at an elite level and due to the high volume of players at this level, they will be held in purpose-built sports venues and stadiums.

WTT, the ITTF's new commercial vehicle, was unveiled earlier this month after Deloitte and Withers were hired in 2018 and tasked with changing the way ITTF runs its business.