Show caption The WTA said last month it was still working to find a resolution to the stand-off with China over the issue involving tennis player Peng Shuai and would not return to the country this year. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters Peng Shuai Chinese tennis tournaments still excluded from WTA’s schedule over Peng Shuai issue Women’s tour will not return to China until resolution is found
Venue for the season-ending WTA Finals yet to be disclosed Reuters Tue 17 May 2022 06.47 BST Share on Facebook
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The WTA has released an updated tournament calendar for the 2022 season, with no events taking place in China and the venue for the season-ending WTA Finals yet to be disclosed.
The Tour said last month it was still working to find a resolution to the stand-off with China over the Peng Shuai issue and would not return to the country this year.
The former doubles world No 1’s wellbeing became a concern for the WTA after she posted a message on social media last November apparently accusing China’s former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of of coercing her into sex in the past. Peng later said her post had been misunderstood.
The post was subsequently removed and Peng disappeared from public view for three weeks. The following month, the WTA suspended all of its tournaments in China, a decision expected to cost the elite women’s tour hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship.
In the absence of tournaments in China, the autumn schedule includes a new WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, Mexico in October and a WTA 500 event in San Diego, California which will take place earlier in the month. Tunisia will also host a WTA 250 tournament.
“The 2022 WTA fall calendar will provide a robust amount of job opportunities for players in a regional calendar flow that will take us through to the end of the season,” WTA chief Steve Simon said in a statement.
The WTA said that updates to the calendar would be provided shortly, including the location of the WTA Finals which is set to take place the week of 31 October. The tournament was held in Guadalajara last year.
The absence of WTA events this year is another blow to China, which is quickly becoming an international sporting wilderness after it withdrew from hosting the 2023 Asian Cup football tournament due to the Covid-19 situation in the country.
That move came after Asian Games organisers postponed the next edition of the multi-sport event, due to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September, until 2023.