WTA Finals To Return After 2 Years Despite China’s Denial in Hosting It

One of the most anticipated tournaments on the women’s tour is the season-ending WTA Finals. The event is contracted to be held in Shenzhen, China until 2028 but could not take place given the global pandemic in 2020.

Authorities in China are still firm on their decision of not conducting the event on their soil. Consequently, the organizers are on the hunt for a different venue for this year’s edition of the year-ending tournament, keeping in mind the necessary measures they will have to take while setting up the event.

WTA logo
The WTA logo outside the Grandstand court on Day Four of The Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2015 at the Foro Italico on May 13, 2015, in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Sports journalist, Jon Wertheim, provided an update on this stating, If (when?) the China fall WTA the schedule doesn’t happen, I’m told the tour has every intention of holding an 8-player final elsewhere…”

WTA Finals is an important event during the calendar year

The WTA Finals is an iconic tournament that has been conducted since 1972. The format of the event is such that the world’s top eight players compete against each other. There are two groups comprising four players in each group. The top two players of each group proceed to the semifinals after which they compete for a spot in the final. 

In the 2019 season, when the tournament was last played, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty had emerged as the champion. Unsurprisingly, of the current players, Serena Williams is the most successful player at the event, having won the competition five times. Going back in history, Martina Navratilova leads the chart, having won the event eight times. 

Petra Kvitova, Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova
SHENZHEN, CHINA – OCTOBER 25: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Naomi Osaka of Japan, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, Ashleigh Barty of Australia, Simona Halep of Romania, Bianca Andreescu of Canada, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic pose for a selfie ahead of the 2019 WTA Finals at Lotus Hill Park on October 25, 2019, in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Currently, players are competing in Paris, at the French Open 2021. The tournament has reached the quarterfinal stage and surprisingly the top seeds have crashed out in the earlier rounds. The highest-ranked player is the 8th seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek who is still going strong.

The semifinals will be conducted on Thursday and will be followed by the finals on Saturday. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the champion at the French Open 2021.

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