Peng Shuai Indian Wells 2017

Decision reversed as no ITF Tour events set to be held in China amidst Peng Shuai censorship

A source has revealed that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have reversed their decision and now plan to host no tournaments in China in 2022, as the Peng Shuai censorship controversy continues.

President of the ITF David Haggerty had previously announced that the ITF had no plans to suspend any events in China due to “not wanting to punish a billion people,” but an ITF source has revealed that this decision has now been overturned.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the organising body of the women’s game, have recently announced that they will withdraw all tournaments from China, including the prestigious WTA Finals.

This comes as a result of China’s failure and refusal to cooperate with WTA chairman Steve Simon’s requests for a “full, fair and transparent investigation” into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault claims and censorship, as well as clarity over her freedom.

China hosted a total of 40 ITF World Tour events in the last full season prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, holding 25 ITF women’s tournaments and 15 men’s events.

The ITF does not have any major professional tournaments that are held in China, with their primary focus being on grassroot development tournaments.

As such, the ITF’s World Tennis Tour events are professional tournaments that are below the elite level, with prize money ranging from $15,000 (£11,300) to $100,000 (£75,000). There are roughly 500 events held across 65 countries worldwide.

The ITF source remained reserved on the situation but told Reuters that “no men’s or women’s ITF World Tennis Tour tournaments are scheduled to be played in China in 2022.”

However, the source did not explicitly state whether the move was related to Peng Shuai’s censorship and public disappearance.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.