“The prestigious year-end tournament, bringing together the top eight singles players and the top eight doubles teams of the season, will be held at Dickies Arena”the WTA said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the competition was likely to return to China in 2023 “in accordance with a long-term contract”.
Questioned by AFP, the body did not immediately indicate whether it was a reversal of its policy of boycotting China. due to the Peng Shuai case. The latter, a specialist in doubles, disappeared for nearly three weeks after accusing former vice prime minister Zhang Gaoli, 40 years her senior, of “forced” sex during a relationship that lasted several years.
Videos showing her since then in public in China have not been enough to remove doubts about her safety and her freedom of movement and expression and the WTA decided last December to give up organizing its autumn tournaments in this country despite huge financial stakes. Following this decision, the WTA Finals had been played in Guadalajara (Mexico) last year. But the WTA had made a commitment to the Gemdale Corporation to organize its Finals in Shenzhen from 2019 to 2028.