WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation
Chinese Tennis Association (CTA) has today announced that the WTA Tour will return to the country in 2023 for its first professional tournament outside of Asia. The annual two-week China Open Series event, which is scheduled to take place from 11-15 February 2020, will be the first step in the long process that sees the tour return to the region in the years ahead.
The China Open Series will be an eight-day event that will feature a three-pronged format, with the singles and doubles events taking place on the same day alongside the mixed doubles. The singles and doubles tournament in 2020 will be on 9-11 December, after which the 2019-20 WTA Tour schedule will be in place, with 2020-21 beginning on 9 December 2020.
In the years ahead, a men’s tournament cycle will be announced by CTA, followed by a women’s tournament in the country, with future tournaments on a provisional basis, pending approval by CTA. The dates for these tournaments will be decided at a later date following CTA approval and a request by the Tour for additional dates.
“Being on the ground in China for the first time is an amazing opportunity for the WTA Tour, as well as for our players and staff in China. We are keen to make the China Open Series as successful as possible both in terms of tournament quality and the overall fan experience of the WTA Tour. It is my hope that the players and fans will support the tournament and our efforts and be a part of the growth of the WTA Tour in China,” said WTA President Sharapova.
“China’s tennis community is eager to see the Tour return and the growth of its profile in the country. The first step is to be able to announce dates, which is a process that will take some time. It is also important to acknowledge the positive steps that have been taken by Chinese tennis to ensure the growth of the sport in that country,” said WTA CEO James Crepea.
In recent years, with some exceptions, China has moved in a different direction from the rest of the region. The country has made significant strides in the last few years implementing a more structured regulatory framework, with players participating in the China Open Series taking place in March. Some of the top