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WTA joins ATP in opting against stripping ranking points from LTA events

LTA events are expected to keep their WTA ranking points ©Getty Images

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WTA Won’t Hold Events In China Until Peng Shuai Situation Is Resolved

WTA Won’t Hold Events In China Until Peng Shuai Situation Is Resolved

The Women’s Tennis Association will continue not to play in China during 2022 until the Peng Shuai situation is resolved.

In December, the WTA canceled nine events scheduled for the fall of 2022 in China and Hong Kong due to the uncertain status of the Chinese tennis star. That followed an announcement in July that the fall Asian swing would be canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We remain dedicated to finding a resolution to this,” WTA CEO Steve Simon told The Tennis Podcast.

“We want to find a resolution that Peng can be comfortable with, the Chinese government can be comfortable with, and we can be comfortable with.

“We are not about walking away from China. We have suspended our operations there right now. We will continue to do that until we get to a resolution.

“We will stay resolute. We do hope to be back there in 2023 with the resolution that shows progress was made in the space. That’s a victory for the world if we can accomplish that.”

Jon Wertheim of The Tennis Channel Tweeted that the WTA calendar “will run through Japan and Seoul” in the fall following the U.S. Open with “no events in China.” He added that “at least half the cancelled China events have found hosts for 2022 (including San Diego).”

The WTA Finals are “likely” to be held in Europe, not in Mexico where they were held in November 2021.

Peng, a three-time Olympian and grand slam doubles champion, alleged last November that she was sexually assaulted by China’s former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. The Chinese government deleted her post on the social media site Weibo, as well as her account.

Peng, who had already effectively retired from professional tennis, made an appearance at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February and denied she had accused anyone of sexual assault, adding that she herself had deleted the social media post.

The WTA, however, stuck to its demand for a formal investigation into Peng’s allegations and an opportunity to meet with her privately to discuss the situation.

“We have not had any recent communication with Peng and the world has not seen Peng since the Olympics either,” Simon said.

“I don’t think you will make change in this world by walking away from issues. You have to create change.

“It might not be everything we want. But we have to find a solution that finds that balance that allows us to go back and see progress in the area.”

Winston Lord, former U.S. Ambassador to China, called the WTA “courageous,” especially in comparison with the NBA, which still does business in China.

“The decision by Steve Simon and his Board of Directors to suspend operations in China is the most courageous move on human rights that I can recall any sports organization making,” Lord, former U.S. Ambassador to China and former member of the WTA Global Advisory Council, wrote in an email in December.

“The proportionate financial stakes of the WTA in China dwarf those of the cowardly NBA and other sports groups. I hope, but do not expect, this step will serve to shame and galvanize other organizations and businesses to counter the economic intimidation and political bullying of China.”

(Reuters contributed reporting)

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Russia banned from team events, players can still compete on ATP, WTA Tours

Russia banned from team events, players can still compete on ATP, WTA Tours

Russia has been banned from defending its Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles but its players will still be allowed to compete at the Grand Slams and in regular tour events.

The decision by tennis authorities follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week. Belarus, a key staging area for the invasion, which Russia says is a “special operation”, has also been banned from the international team competitions.

“The international governing bodies of tennis stand united in our condemnation of Russia’s actions,” the ATP, WTA, International Tennis Federation and the Grand Slams said in a joint statement.



Russian and Belarusian players will be able to play on the elite ATP and WTA Tours but not under the name or flag of their countries, the governing bodies said.

Ukrainian tennis player Svitolina won’t play Russian opponent unless tours act

Djokovic splits with long-time coach Vajda

Men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev and number six Andrey Rublev helped Russia beat Croatia in the 2021 Davis Cup final in Madrid in December a month after the Russian women won the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague.

The tennis authorities also suspended Moscow’s combined WTA-ATP event scheduled for October.

It is unclear whether Russia will be able to compete in the lucrative team-based ATP Cup in Australia. Russia made the semi-finals of the 2022 event in January and won the 2021 tournament.

The ITF said it had suspended the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation’s memberships and withdrawn their entries from all ITF team competition until further notice.

The decision followed the ITF’s cancellation of all its tournaments in Russia and Belarus.