April 13, 2023 -The women’s professional tennis tour will bring its events back to China later this year, announcing on Thursday the end of a boycott instituted in late 2021 over concerns about the safety of former player Peng Shuai after she accused a high-ranking government official there of sexual assault.
WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in an interview with The Associated Press that while what he sought was never delivered — a chance for someone from the tour to meet with Peng, along with a full and transparent investigation into the Grand Slam doubles champion’s accusations — the decision was made, with input from player and tournament representatives, to return to the country.
“The stance that we took at the time was appropriate. And we stand by that. But 16 months into this, we’re convinced that our requests will not be met. And to continue with the same strategy doesn’t make sense,” Simon said from St. Petersburg, Florida, where the WTA is based.