WTA Finals Set for Texas This Year, but a Return to China Is Uncertain

wta finals set for texas this year but a return to china is uncertain

The WTA announced Tuesday that Fort Worth would host its annual season-ending WTA Finals this year. The tournament, which will begin Oct. 31, said it had a one-year agreement to play in Fort Worth, “with the event thereafter due to return to Shenzhen, China.” But the WTA said the suspension of its tournaments in China remained in place, leaving the WTA Finals’ return to China in 2023 uncertain. WTA tournaments in China have been suspended since December, when Steve Simon, the tour’s chairman and chief executive, announced the decision, after…

Chinese Tennis Star, Zheng Qinwen, Emerges During French Open

chinese tennis star zheng qinwen emerges during french open

PARIS — To keep things simpler for her Mandarin-challenged Western friends, the rising Chinese tennis star Zheng Qinwen often goes by the nickname Ana. But if you watch the teenage Zheng hit a forehand, a serve or just about any shot on a tennis court, her first English-language nickname seems more appropriate. “At the real beginning at IMG, they called me Fire,” she said in an interview at the French Open on Friday, referring to her management company, IMG. There is indeed plenty of power and passion in Zheng’s game,…

Strong Stance on China and Peng Shuai Helps Land WTA a New Title Sponsor

The WTA has been an outlier in its approach to China. The ATP, which operates the men’s tennis tour, has not suspended its Chinese tournaments, and other professional leagues, including the N.B.A., have been reticent to confront Chinese authorities directly. Peng has reappeared in recent weeks and given some controlled interviews, claiming that she deleted the social media post herself and that she had been misunderstood and had not made sexual assault allegations. But the WTA, still lacking direct contact with Peng, has maintained its position. “We’ve been watching very…

Where Is Peng Shuai? Tennis Players and Fans Still Want to Know

where is peng shuai tennis players and fans still want to know scaled

But Chinese television did not broadcast the women’s tournaments in 2022 that were played ahead of the Open despite owning the rights. It is unclear whether this constitutes a boycott. In 2019, CCTV stopped airing N.B.A. games after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets at the time, expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. No events for the WTA or ATP, the professional men’s tennis tour, have been held in China since early 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which had shut down international sports events…

The Censoring of Peng Shuai

the censoring of peng shuai scaled

Matthew Futterman contributed reporting. The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens and Rowan…

What Major Sports Are Still in China Amid Peng Shuai Scandal?

what major sports are still in china amid peng shuai scandal scaled

The WTA has suspended its future tournaments in China and Hong Kong, as questions linger over Peng Shuai, the tennis pro who initially disappeared after she accused a Communist Party leader of sexual assault in social media posts. Peng resurfaced last month in appearances with Chinese officials, but it was unclear how freely she was able to speak. “While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation,” Steve Simon, the chief executive of the WTA,…

How WTA Chief Steve Simon Took on China Over Peng Shuai

how wta chief steve simon took on china over peng shuai scaled

Simon’s refusal to accept China’s authoritarian stance on human rights once it directly affected one of his players stands in stark contrast to several high-profile leaders in sports who have repeatedly bent to the desires of the Chinese, including Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee. Simon has been concerned about Peng’s physical safety but also believed, as did the members of his player council and others he communicates with regularly in a player chat group, that the silencing of…

‘Where is **?’: Fans in China Elude Censors to Talk About Peng Shuai

where is fans in china elude censors to talk about peng shuai scaled

Julien Chen was getting ready for bed when he learned that one of his favorite Chinese tennis players, Peng Shuai, had made #MeToo allegations against a powerful Chinese official. A friend told him to check Ms. Peng’s social media account. “There’s a ‘huge melon’ in the tennis circle,” the friend wrote, using the Chinese metaphor for a bombshell. Mr. Chen couldn’t find anything. He searched the word “tennis,” but Ms. Peng — one of China’s most famous athletes — appeared in barely any results. With stunning efficiency, China’s censors had…

WTA Suspends Tournaments in China Over Treatment of Peng Shuai

wta suspends tournaments in china over treatment of peng shuai scaled

The women’s professional tennis tour announced Wednesday that it was immediately suspending all tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, in response to the disappearance from public life of the tennis star Peng Shuai after she accused a top Communist Party leader of sexual assault. The move, which represents a groundbreaking shift in how major sports organizations deal with China’s increasingly authoritarian government, comes as the Women’s Tennis Association has failed to speak directly with Peng after she made the accusations in posts on her social media channels that were soon…

Do Sports Still Need China?

do sports still need china scaled

Ultimately, the affair showed how even the most conscientious organizations could find their plans undermined by Chinese politics, how any business could unwillingly become a vessel for an international spat. “If you’re angering both sides, it means there is no middle ground, which I think was significant,” said Dreyer, the Beijing-based sports analyst. Like other observers, Dreyer suggested the WTA’s stance was potentially game-changing. But he noted, too, that it was possibly easier for the WTA to defy China than it had been for, say, the N.B.A., for two reasons.…