London [UK], July 24 (ANI): The ATP and WTA on Friday cancelled all international tennis tournaments in China this year, including the Shanghai Masters and WTA Finals.
The decision comes after China's General Administration of Sport said that China will not host any international sporting events in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
"As a result, the Rolex Shanghai Masters, Asia's only ATP Masters 1000 tournament, the China Open in Beijing, an ATP 500 event, as well as the Chengdu Open and Zhuhai Championships, ATP 250 events, will not take place in 2020," ATP said in a statement.
"Our approach throughout this pandemic has been to always follow local guidance when staging events. We respect the Chinese government's decision to do what's best for the country in response to the unprecedented global situation," said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman.
Among the seven WTA events cancelled is the Wuhan Open in October, which promised to be hugely symbolic as the city was at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak when it emerged late last year.
"We are extremely disappointed that our world-class events in China will not take place this year. Unfortunately, this decision also includes the cancellation of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen and as a result, the corresponding Porsche Race to Shenzhen. We do however respect the decision that has been made and are eager to return to China as soon as possible next season," said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO.
The tennis season has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and many scheduled tournaments are either postponed or cancelled. Wimbledon Open was cancelled for the first time since the Second World War due to the COVID-19.
The WTA still intends to return to action in Palermo, Italy on August 3.
The next Grand Slam tournament as of now is the US Open, which is supposed to start in New York on August 31. The French Open has been postponed from May to late September. (ANI)