Two weeks ago, the Associated Press reported that China would not host any international events for the rest of 2020, following an order from the General Administration of Sports.
On Thursday, the ATP and WTA tours formally announced the cancellations of tennis calendar swings in China, the sport’s latest stumbling block in salvaging a partial season. The WTA was strongly impacted by the directive, with seven tour-level tournaments slotted in October and November. As a result of no longer being permitted to stage the WTA Finals Shenzhen, leadership also made the decision to call off its race to the prestigious year-end event.
"We are extremely disappointed that our world-class events in China will not take place this year," said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. "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."
In their press release, the WTA added that they are considering further calendar changes to ensure playing opportunities are available. The ATP, which saw four events abandoned, including its Masters 1000 event in Shanghai, intends to release a schedule update within the next fortnight. The ATP Finals, set for its final year at The O2 in London, remains on the table for now.
“Our approach throughout this pandemic has been to always follow local guidance when staging events. We respect the Chinese government’s decision to do what’s best for the country in response to the unprecedented global situation,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman.
In 2019, Ashleigh Barty picked up the largest cheque in tennis history after earning $4.42 million at the inaugural edition of the WTA Finals Shenzhen. Thursday’s cancellations follow Tuesday’s announcement of the ATP 500 event in Washington, D.C., rescheduled to begin August 14, pulling the plug.