WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation
Tennis Channel has announced that WTA Tour will return to Shanghai in 2023.
The WTA Tour had suspended operations in China following a doping scandal involving five-time Grand Slam champion Peng Shuai in January and two-time reigning champion Coco Vandeweghe earlier this year, and announced that the tournament scheduled for October in Shanghai would be postponed.
The decision came after a meeting of tour administrators today at which it was unanimously decided to relocate the WTA Tour at the earliest possible date in order to avoid the “unacceptable” consequences of not taking action sooner.
The WTA Tour resumed operations in China on March 1 and will start up in Shanghai in October 2023.
At the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that the decision to relocate the WTA Tour to Shanghai was the right one, given the new circumstances regarding the future of the WTA in China.
WTA Tour was suspended in February when the International Tennis Federation announced a suspension of the WTA Tour. The suspension was due to the I.T.F. review the organisation and conduct of the WTA Tour following a doping crisis that had seen a number of Chinese athletes banned and several WTA Tour players suspended by the I.T.F.
The I.T.F. was investigating the case of five-time Grand Slam champion Peng Shuai but did not find sufficient evidence to support the case against her. After the fifth Grand Slam event, the French Open, when Peng was alleged to have used the banned substance meldonium, she was banned from competing in any form of WTA Tour.
The I.T.F. then suspended her participation with the remaining three-dozen WTA Tour events in which she was due to compete.
The WTA Tour was forced to take other measures because the organization would be unable to guarantee the safe and secure operation of a series of WTA Tour events if it did not return to Shanghai.
The I.T.F. had also made proposals to the International Tennis Federation (IT