WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation in Rio Olympics
The WTA season will resume in China in 2023 after the world governing body suspended the 2019 tournament after a dispute between the Chinese and Russian federations.
The Chinese Tennis Association said last month that an agreement the WTA signed with the Russian Federation to use its tournament for the 2018 Olympics meant the tournament will be cancelled and replaced with a one-off tournament in order to “safeguard the health and safety of its players.”
The WTA’s executive council voted on 10-1 on Wednesday afternoon to suspend the rest of the WTA Premier 5 and Premier Singles and Challenger tournaments in China, while Russia and Turkey will continue with their tournaments.
China’s national federation will run the event and it will take place over a four-month period beginning this February.
The WTA announced the suspension of the entire WTA Premier 5 and Premier Singles and Challenger tournaments in China, as well as the cancellation of the WTA Cup of China and WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments last month and said the World Games in Beijing will be run instead.
“We have been working with the Chinese and Russian federations and we are grateful for the trust placed in our WTA governing body and its administration,” WTA spokesperson Annamaria Luthi said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are disappointed by the outcome of the vote, but we accept that it was necessary to take action at this time.”
The WTA and the international tennis community were left outraged after news broke in October that the Russian’s tennis federation, which was responsible for running the WTA event, had agreed to share the WTA event with China. The Russian federation also signed an agreement allowing China to use its tennis event for the 2018 Olympics.
The WTA said on Wednesday it was disappointed that some of its players weren