The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced the resumption of its tournaments in China after a 16-month suspension. The decision to lift the ban comes after the governing body of women’s tennis expressed concerns over the safety of former doubles number one Peng Shuai, who accused a senior former Chinese government official of sexual assault in a now-deleted social media post in 2021.
The WTA had initially suspended its tournaments in China in support of Peng’s allegations, and to ensure the safety and security of its players. Peng’s brief disappearance from public view and her later denial of the accusations caused further worries over her well-being.However, after sustained efforts to achieve their original requests, the WTA has concluded that the situation has shown no signs of changing, and the resumption of tournaments in China is necessary for the sake of its players and tournaments.The WTA has stated that it will lift the suspension of its tournaments in China this September, with the first event scheduled to take place in the city of Guanzhou.
The organization is confident that the necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety and security of all players, staff, and fans during the events.In January, the WTA had sought a private meeting with Peng to confirm her safety and comfort in Beijing, where she currently resides. The organization maintains that it will not compromise on its founding principles and remains committed to protecting the interests of its players.
The resumption of tournaments in China is a significant development for the WTA and women’s tennis, as the country has been a major market for the sport. The decision will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the players, fans, and sponsors, and it is hoped that the events will be a success, contributing to the continued growth and development of women’s tennis globally.