No ‘final decision’ has been made by China on cancelling events, the WTA says, despite authorities calling off most international sports events in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
To our knowledge, the report that has been circulated regarding a principle on international sporting events in China does not represent a final decision. The WTA continues to work closely with our events in China and the CTA (Chinese Tennis Association) and we will advise when we have more information. WTA Statement
Officials, therefore, are still hopeful of holding tournaments in China this year,
Thursday’s announcement from China’s highest sporting body appears to be a severe blow to a number of major sports, particularly tennis, Formula One, and golf.
The General Administration of Sport said that, except for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic test events ‘and other important events, in principle, no other international sports events will be held this year’.
The WTA Tour would be particularly badly affected because it has 7 tournaments scheduled in China in October-November in the proposed provisional calendar.
This includes the richly symbolic Wuhan Open, the city where the coronavirus emerged late last year before spreading globally, and the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
Last month the WTA announced a proposed calendar for the rest of 2020, starting in Palermo on 3 August, but said tournaments were subject to ‘governmental approval of sporting events’, as well as medical advice and travel restrictions.
“To our knowledge, the report that has been circulated regarding a principle on international sporting events in China does not represent a final decision,” WTA said in a statement.
“The WTA continues to work closely with our events in China and the CTA (Chinese Tennis Association) and we will advise when we have more information.
“We remain on track with our decision timeline regarding the 2020 WTA Tour provisional calendar, which will be by the end of July.”
On Thursday, the WTA announced it was following its male counterpart in announcing temporary adjustments and revisions to rankings for singles and doubles players as the Tour prepares to return in the first week of August.
The WTA rankings representing a calculation of a player’s recent tournament results, while evaluating each player’s standing among the world’s best players, are normally based on a 52-week system with results from a player’s best 16 tournaments for singles and 11 for doubles.
Points from the Grand Slams, the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, and WTA Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 tournaments yield the highest ranking points.
On suspension of play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WTA rankings were frozen as of 16 March, allowing ranking points to extend beyond the traditional 52-week window so that a player’s world ranking would not be impacted due to the suspension.
In order to balance fairness and flexibility for all players, the WTA rankings will generally follow the ‘Better of 2019 and 2020’ point model.
Under the revised system, a player’s ranking will be comprised of her best 16 results in singles and best 11 results in doubles based on the points earned between March 2019 and December 2020, but players may not count the same WTA Tour or Grand Slam level result twice in their ranking breakdowns.
Tour-level points added in 2020 will drop after the event is scheduled to be played again in 2021 or after 52 weeks, whichever comes first.
The Race to Shenzhen leaderboard, used to determine the singles and doubles qualifiers for the Shiseido WTA Finals in Shenzhen, will also have some adjustments for 2020.
A player’s 16-best results from 2020 tournaments will contribute to a player’s Race Points with the top-8 players qualifying for the WTA Finals, while a doubles team will count its 11-best results from 2020 with the top-8 teams qualifying.