A Chinese ban on almost all sporting events through December may have driven a spike into hopes for playing the ATP and WTA Asian swings.
Beijing’s official news agency Xinhua dropped the bombshell amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic – and the news will likely leave Western tennis bosses struggling with their budget spreadsheets.
Xinhuanet.com reported a “plan of resuming sport events based on science and order” which only allows for a few 2020 Winter Olympic trials to be staged in December.
Those kinds of restrictions would mean the autumn run of tournaments in Asia – and particularly China – are suddenly off the table.
Already this aborted tennis season, play will not begin until August after being halted due to the virus outbreak in March.
Some events in the region had already been cancelled: Chengdu, Zhuhai and Tokyo for the men plus Hiroshima, Tianjin and Hong Kong for women.
The latest announcement goes a step further, with victims apparently now to include major October ATP events in Beijing and Shanghai.
It’s even worse for the WTA, which has relied heavily on Chinese sponsor and tournament fee money for years.
Now due to be cancelled for this year: Beijing, Wuhan, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhai and Guangzhou.
The Chinese decision would be a huge blow for tennis, with the summer abbreviated US season under serious threat due to unchecked COVID and the spring clay reduced to a couple of weeks leading up to a rescheduled Roland Garros from September 27.
Main photo:- WTA event in Zhuhai has been cancelled