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WTA release updated tournament calendar with no events taking place in China over Peng Shuai issue

The WTA said last month it was still working to find a resolution to the stand-off with China over the issue involving tennis player Peng Shuai and would not return to the country this year until resolution is found; Venue for the season-ending WTA Finals yet to be disclosed

China's Peng Shuai during the semi final during day five of the AEGON Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham.
Image: Chinese tennis tournaments are still excluded from WTA's schedule over the Peng Shuai issue

The WTA have released an updated tournament calendar for the 2022 season, with no events taking place in China due to the standoff over the Peng Shuai issue.

The Tour had said last month it was still working to find a resolution to the standoff with China over the Peng Shuai issue and would not return to the country this year.

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Andrew Castle says the WTA are doing the right thing by cancelling tournaments in China to highlight their concern for the wellbeing of Peng Shuai

The former doubles world No 1's safety became a big concern after she posted a message on social media in November accusing China's ex-Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.

Peng later said her post had been misunderstood. The post was subsequently removed with Peng disappearing from public view.

The WTA then suspended its events in China, a decision that is expected to cost the elite women's tour millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship.

In the absence of tournaments in China, the autumn schedule includes a new WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, Mexico in October and a WTA 500 event in San Diego, California which will take place earlier in the month. Tunisia will also host a WTA 250 tournament.

"The 2022 WTA fall calendar will provide a robust amount of job opportunities for players in a regional calendar flow that will take us through to the end of the season," WTA chief Steve Simon said in a statement.

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The WTA said that updates to the calendar would be provided shortly, including the location of the WTA Finals which is set to take place the week of October 31. The tournament was held in Guadalajara last year.

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai is pictured at the venue of Beijing Olympic figure skating team event competition in the Chinese capital on Feb. 7, 2022. (Kyodo via AP Images) ==Kyodo
Image: Peng Shuai was pictured at the venue of the Beijing Olympic figure skating team event competition in February

The absence of WTA events this year is another blow to China, which is quickly becoming an international sporting wilderness after it withdrew from hosting the 2023 Asian Cup soccer tournament due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Updates to the 2022 WTA Tour calendar

  • Week 30 (July 25) - WTA 250 BNP Paribas Poland Open relocates from Gdynia to Warsaw, Poland
  • Week 37 (September 12) - WTA 250 Japan Women's Open in Osaka, Japan
  • Week 38 (September 19) - WTA 500 Toray PPO Tennis in Tokyo, Japan and WTA 250 Hana Bank Korea Open in Seoul, South Korea
  • Week 39 (September 26) - WTA 250 Tallinn Open in Tallinn, Estonia
  • Week 40 (October 3) - WTA 500 J&T Banka Ostrava Open in Ostrava, Czech Republic and WTA 250 Jasmin Open Tunisia in Monastir, Tunisia
  • Week 41 (October 10) - WTA 500 San Diego Open in San Diego, California and WTA 250 Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Week 42 (October 17) - WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico

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