There will be no Women's Tennis Association tournaments in China for the rest of the year. The WTA canceled all events scheduled to take place in the country on Thursday. The decision is a result of China's General Administration of Sport's ruling that the country won't host any international sporting events in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In total, seven WTA events have been canceled:
- Week of Oct. 12 – China Open (Beijing)
- Week of Oct. 19 – Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open
- Week of Oct. 19 – Jiangxi Open (Nanchang)
- Week of Oct. 26 – Zhengzhou Open
- Week of Nov. 9 – Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen
- Week of Nov. 16 – Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai
- Week of Nov. 23 – Guangzhou Open
As The New York Times points out, these cancellations are a big hit to the WTA because the WTA Finals in Shenzhen is one of the league's most lucrative events. The country has "rapidly become one the tour's major markets and a key source of revenue," the Times reported.
Here's a look at the new WTA schedule, with the season set to start on Aug. 3:
"We are extremely disappointed that our world-class events in China will not take place this year," WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a press release. "Unfortunately, this decision also includes the cancellation of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen and as result, the corresponding Porsche Race to Shenzhen. We do however respect the decision that has been made and are eager to return to China as soon as possible next season.
"We would like to acknowledge the significant efforts made by our tournaments in the region throughout this process along with the Chinese Tennis Association for their dedication and commitment to the WTA. We share in the disappointment of many around the world who were looking forward to this swing and appreciate all of the continued support from our fans, partners and the entire region, as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 2020 season."
The release also states that the WTA is "committed to moving forward with the return to play plan which provides for operating as many tournaments."