The world tennis boss feels reassured by Peng Shuai’s safety after speaking with the Chinese tennis star, and believes China should not be prevented from hosting the tournament.
International Tennis Federation (ITF) president David Haggerty told Sky News that China remains a “very important market”. coronavirus Restrictions, not protests against the country’s leaders, were the reason his organization withdrew the event.
The tennis world is divided over its play in China last year. Peng accused of sexually assaulting a senior Chinese Communist Party official and later said,misunderstanding“.
Women’s Tennis Association announced on Dec. Suspension of all tournaments in China Concern about the treatment of the former doubles world ranking number one.
However, the men’s ATP Tour has simply canceled events in China, citing COVID-19’s difficulty in entering. This is the stance the ITF holds as the governing body of world tennis.
Haggerty said he spoke with Peng about six weeks ago and is still in contact via email.
“I felt good talking to Mr. Penn, so I’m staying in touch,” Mr. Haggerty told Sky News.
“I would love to meet her face to face and I look forward to when I am able to travel to China for the event and when she is able to travel outside of China.
“So from my point of view tennis should be played especially by juniors[in China]. We want our sport to be able to develop and grow and China is a very important market. I hope to be
Although entry restrictions were eased for the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics earlier this year, international travelers going to China must spend seven days in a centralized quarantine facility and then three days at home.
“The ITF feels that the event could be held in China as restrictions are expected to be lifted,” Haggerty said.
“In 2023, we will have junior events, senior events and competitions in China when COVID restrictions are eased.”
Djokovic withdraws from US Open
Haggerty was speaking from New York ahead of the US Open, where former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is not seeking a 22nd Grand Slam title. A lack of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus has prevented entry into the United States.
“It’s a difficult situation. Novak understands and respects the rules,” Haggerty said. “It is up to each government to enforce these rules and implement policies.
“It’s disappointing. I’ve seen Novak’s great competition and success this year. I know more than anything that he wants to make it to the U.S. Open.”
Emma Radukhanu will compete at Flushing Meadows to defend her sensational title won in last year’s qualifiers. The British star will face France’s Alizee Cornet in the first round on Thursday.
“I like to see people that anyone can emulate, people they can have as role models,” Haggerty said. increase.
The ITF released its 2021 financial report on Thursday, showing the organization is recovering after being hit by 2020 coronavirus cancellations.
Operating profit nearly doubled to $66.6m (£56m), still a long way from 2019’s $88.7m (£75m).
Looking to the next generation of players, the ITF’s junior tennis initiative saw a 23% increase in the number of under-14 players introduced to the sport last year, with 213,212 joining the global programme.