— Published 14 April 2023

WTA to return to China

It’s official: the women’s professional tennis circuit will return to China this year after a two-year absence. The Women’s Professional Tennis Association (WTA) announced it in a press release: “The WTA lifts the suspension of the organization of tournaments in China, where the tournaments will resume this September“. End of the parenthesis, therefore. But the dispute is still not settled. As a reminder, the WTA had decided not to organize any more tournaments in China, in 2021, after the outbreak of the Peng Shuai case. The former Chinese player, who had accused a senior leader of the Communist Party of a sexual relationship “forced“, was then untraceable. Since then, she has made several public appearances, including during the Beijing 2022 Winter Games (pictured above). But the WTA recognizes today: “The situation has not shown any sign of change” in this case. The women’s tennis organization once again asked the Chinese authorities in January to be able to talk “in private” with the former player. The request was not granted. But the WTA explains: “We concluded that we would not fully achieve our goals and that it would be our players and our tournaments that would pay the price.”