WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation
The WTA Tour has said it would be suspending its return to China until the conclusion of investigations into the controversial decision to disqualify Peng Shuai from a year-end WTA point-reversal at the Australian Open.
The Tour, which has had no involvement in the investigation, will first ask the Chinese authorities to investigate the Australian Open point-reversal, under its Code of Conduct with China. If they agree, the decision would be made public.
The WTA Tour said it would wait to learn the results of that process before making the decision on whether to return to China.
The decision of the Australian Open point-reversal and the decision of the Chinese authorities over the investigations into that incident were announced jointly by the WTA Tour and the WTA’s office in Beijing.
WTA president Sharapova said she was “somewhat surprised” at the move from the Tour, which said a temporary point-reversal would be in the best interest of all parties involved. She said she understood the WTA Tour “had many different considerations”, but the final call “couldn’t be made at this point”.
“I would like to thank the WTA for all of its cooperation on this ongoing situation surrounding the WTA Tour and the WTA events in China. It’s been a challenging time and I am grateful for the support we have received,” she said.
However, Sharapova said she would “continue to be vocal regarding the situation with WTA, as much as I can given the current situation in China”.
Sharapova confirmed she would not return to China this year but said other factors were involved regarding when her contract with the Tour was up.
“Of course, I do believe that the most important thing is that a positive outcome is reached for all parties involved. Both the WTA and myself have been working closely with the WTA Tour to ensure the best outcome for all parties,