Naomi Osaka is the WTA China Open defending champion Image Credit: AP

Dubai: At least seven major tennis events from the WTA Tour and another four on the ATP Tour stand cancelled due to the recent decision of China’s General Administration of Sport that China will not host any international sporting events in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the tentative re-worked WTA events calendar, the Asian tennis swing was scheduled to get under way with the China Open in Beijing on October 12 and conclude with the Guangzhou Open on November 23.

But now with the China Government refraining from hosting any sporting events for the remainder of 2020, all seven major tennis tournaments for the women stand cancelled.

Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO was extremely disappointed with the move to cancel all seven major tennis tournaments on the China swing.

Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his final match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic.
Dominic Thiem won the China Open last year

“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,” Simon said.

“We would like to acknowledge the significant efforts made by our tournaments in the region throughout this process along with the Chinese Tennis Association for their dedication and commitment to the WTA. We share in the disappointment of many around the world who were looking forward to this swing and appreciate all of the continued support from our fans, partners and the entire region, as we continue to navigate the remainder of the 2020 season.”

The WTA remains committed to moving forward with the return to play plan which provides for operating as many tournaments and providing as many playing opportunities as possible this season. The Tour is looking at implementing some final adjustments to the provisional calendar based upon the decisions set forth in China.

Plans are already in place to get the WTA Tour under way with the $275,000 Palermo Open in Italy from August 3 followed by the Prague Open and the Top Seed Open Lexington, USA the following week. All tennis had come to a grinding halt with the last-minute cancellation of the Indian Wells Open scheduled to start from March 9.

The WTA is now continuing to monitor the situation closely and work with medical experts, as protecting the health and safety of our WTA community is of utmost importance. The Tour continues to remain vigilant in managing this challenging situation and playing as much tennis as it is safe to do so.

Meanwhile, the ATP Men’s Tour has also made a similar announcement while cancelling at least four of its event on the China Swing. The Rolex Shanghai Masters, the only ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Asia will be cancelled along with an ATP 500 events — the China Open in Beijing — and the Chengdu Open and Zhuhai Championships, both ATP 250 events. Another cancellation is the Japan Open that was to be held in Tokyo from October 5.

Chinese events cancelled

China Open (Beijing)
Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open
Jiangxi Open (Nanchang)
Zhengzhou Open
Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen
Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai
Guangzhou Open

Chengdu Open (Chengdu)
Zhuhai Open (Zhuhai)
China Open (Beijing)
Rolex Masters (Shanghai)