WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation
The World Tennis Association has announced that it will return to China as part of its planned schedule from 2023. The decision comes after the organisation confirmed at a press conference that the WTA will be facing “significant, possibly irreparable damage” and that it “may be unable even to continue its work as it has done for years”.
“Our work with the WTA has been successful and sustainable for a long time,” said WTA President James Pallotta. “Our relationship is irreplaceable. We want to be here but there aren’t that many seats left. We’re hoping we can get a few additional seats and use them while the WTA’s membership is growing and the tournament gets bigger.”
“For the next few years, we’ll be working on the structure of our future schedules and look for opportunities to make the WTA’s presence in China even more present. We’ll work to provide the WTA with more opportunities to work with the players and to provide the Chinese public with an authentic tennis experience in the world’s second largest country that doesn’t have many opportunities today.”
The WTA’s decision to return to China follows its suspension by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) at the conclusion of the US Open and comes after the ITF revealed that it had issued a report to the WTA detailing the serious issues which have arisen. Some notable issues in the report include the following:
There has been a perception within the Chinese tennis community that the WTA had become “too friendly” and had become too accepting of male players with a lack of diversity and inclusion within the sport.
“It appears that in recent years, the WTA has adopted the mentality of the Chinese Tennis Association,” said the report.
“There appears to be an overall disregard for the rules and regulations