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Bad News For ATP | WTA Tennis • Fall Swing In Asia Next On Chopping Block As China Events Cancelled

By Ricky Dimon

It surely does not come as a surprise to anyone, but both the ATP and WTA have cancelled all tournaments in China this fall due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

First it was Indian Wells and Miami. Then it was clay. Then it was grass. Then it was the start of the American hard-court swing. Then it was the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Now it is everything in China.

The dominoes continue to fall on both tours as tennis organizations fail over and over again to come up with ways to safely hold official tournaments. A lot of it, of course, is out of their hands due to the problems and risks surrounding international travel. This China situation was also beyond anyone in the sport of tennis’ control, as the Chinese government has banned international sporting events in its country for the remainder of 2020.

“Our approach throughout this pandemic has been to always follow local guidance when staging events,” ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi explained. “We respect the Chinese government’s decision to do what’s best for the country in response to the unprecedented global situation. It’s with a heavy heart that we announce ATP tournaments will not be played in China this year. These important events have been a cornerstone of the Tour’s presence in Asia and I want to thank the organizers for their commitment and cooperation. Chinese fans are some of the most passionate in the world and I know players will be looking forward to the next opportunity to play in front of them.”

The ATP tournaments that got the axe were the Rolex Shanghai Masters, the China Open in Beijing, the Chengdu Open, and the Zhuhai Championships.

As bad as this development is for the ATP Tour, the WTA has a much bigger presence throughout Asia and therefore sustained an even bigger blow. Seven tournaments in China are out: Beijing, Wuhan, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, and also Guangzhou.

“We are extremely disappointed that our world-class events in China will not take place this year,” WTA chairman Steve Simon stated. “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.”

Both tours have a provisional schedule for the rest of the year, and for the ATP that still includes its annual race to London–site of the Nitto ATP Finals for one final time. The ATP Tour hopes to return with the Western & Southern Open (in New York in Cincinnati) in mid-August, while the WTA hopes to make up for lost time by getting underway with the Palermo Open starting on Aug. 3.

Palermo, though, has issues of its own. Main attraction Simona Halep withdrew from the event on Sunday citing concerns regarding international travel.

Are you sensing a trend here?….

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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