NEW YORK: All tennis tournaments slated to be held in China this year, including the Shanghai Masters and the WTA Finals, have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATP and WTA announced on Friday.
This comes after the directive, issued earlier this month by the General Administration of Sport in China, which mandates that no international sporting events will proceed in China for the remainder of the year.
Apart from the Shanghai Masters, the China Open in Beijing as well as the Chengdu Open and Zhuhai Championships will not take place in 2020, said ATP. Among the seven WTA events cancelled is the China Open, Wuhan Open, Jiangxi Open, Zhengzhou Open, Elite Trophy and Guangzhou Open.
"We are extremely disappointed that our world-class events in China will not take place this year," stated Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO in an official statement.
"Unfortunately, this decision also includes the cancellation of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen and as result, the corresponding Porsche Race to Shenzhen. We do however respect the decision that has been made and are eager to return to China as soon as possible next season."
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: "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."
"It's with a heavy heart that we announce ATP tournaments will not be played in China this year," he added.
The tennis season has been at a standstill since mid-March following the outbreak of novel coronavirus. The Palermo Ladies Open in Italy beginning August 3 is slated to mark the resumption of the WTA's revamped calendar for 2020. IANS
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