(Paris) The WTA, the professional women’s tennis circuit, absent from China since the Peng Shuai affair, will return to this country in September, the organization announced in a press release on Thursday.
“The WTA is lifting the suspension on hosting tournaments in China and tournaments will resume in China this September,” the WTA said, while acknowledging that “the situation” had “shown no signs of changing” at the time. regard to the Peng Shuai case.
In January, the WTA asked the Chinese authorities to speak “in private” with the player, after she accused a senior Chinese official in 2021 of “forced” sex during a relationship that lasted several years.
The WTA had decided in 2021 to no longer organize tournaments in China in response to the disappearance for several weeks of this Chinese player, winner of Wimbledon and Roland-Garros in doubles.
“When, in 2021, Peng Shuai showed courage with his testimony, the WTA took a stand by suspending its tournaments in China due to concern for his safety and the safety of its players and staff,” said reminded the WTA in its press release.
After 16 months, “we have concluded that we will not fully achieve our goals and that it will be our players and our tournaments that will pay the price,” the text continues.
Until 2019, the WTA circuit stopped in several Chinese cities from September, with no less than six tournaments in the country that year, in addition to the end-of-year Masters organized in Shenzhen.