WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation
The Australian Open is returning to China in the summer of 2023, following a five-year absence, organisers have confirmed.
Featuring a record number of 23 women’s singles ATP Tour titles on the line, the tournament will return in Chengdu, China, for its maiden edition in 2020.
“For the last three years, we have not held a Grand Slam in mainland China,” tournament boss John McEnroe said. “It’s an unfortunate situation that has been created by the Chinese authorities, and while I’m sure they’re looking at the situation and trying to make changes, they can’t go back in time.
“We’re excited to be returning to Chengdu in 2023, and we’re hoping that the same thing that happened in Shanghai happens again in Chengdu.”
In the past, the Chinese authorities have refused to grant the tournament the necessary Chinese government approval that could have allowed it to return to the country.
It’s an issue the Chinese Tennis Association will raise the government again in September. They also announced on Monday that the women’s final between Simona Halep and Garbiñe Muguruza (pictured above, left and right respectively) will be held in the country, marking the first time it’s been held in China since 2009.
In a sign of the ongoing pressure on the country, the organisers of the French Open were forced to cut out a few days’ practice for all the women’s matches for Wednesday’s action, amid fears about the spread of coronavirus in Europe.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty going around the world, because of new situations and what’s happening in China,” McEnroe told reporters. “We have to make sure we make the right decisions, but we’re getting there. And that’s exciting.”