SHANGHAI: All international tennis tournaments in China including the Shanghai Masters and WTA Finals were cancelled Friday (Jul 24) because of the coronavirus, the ATP and WTA said.
The major blow to attempts to restart tennis comes after China said it would not stage most international sports events for the rest of 2020 to keep the pandemic in check.
“We are extremely disappointed that our world-class events in China will not take place this year,” Steve Simon, head of the Women’s Tennis Association, said in a statement.
“We do however respect the decision that has been made (by Chinese authorities) and are eager to return to China as soon as possible next season.”
Among those cancelled is the WTA Wuhan Open, which promised to be hugely symbolic because the city was at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak when it emerged late last year.
The ATP said it too cancelling its scheduled events in China for the rest of the year, including the prestigious Shanghai Masters and China Open in Beijing.
“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.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we announce ATP tournaments will not be played in China this year.”