Asian events axed in updated WTA/ATP schedule

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The BNP Paribas Open WTA/ATP Indian Wells event will take place in October after being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic

The WTA and ATP Tours have cancelled events in China and Japan scheduled for later this year due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns and travel restrictions in both countries, it was confirmed Thursday.

In separate schedule updates, the WTA and ATP said the China Open in Beijing and the Japan Open in Tokyo had both been scrapped.

The WTA said all events in China and Japan had been cancelled with the exception being the WTA Finals due to take place in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. The status of that tournament was "under discussion" the WTA said.

The ATP, meanwhile, said the Shanghai Masters still hoped to be staged in October, in the week before the rescheduled BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, which is taking place from October 10-17.

The Indian Wells tournament was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic and rearranged from its traditional slot in March this year.

"We are disappointed that our world-class events in China and Japan will not take place this year," WTA chief executive Steve Simon said.

"We are working on a parallel path to provide playing opportunities in other regions, one being our return to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as we look forward to this two-week event in October."

"We would like to acknowledge the dedication and significant efforts made by our affected tournaments in exploring all possibilities to stage the events this year and their continued commitment to the WTA.

"We very much look forward to returning in 2022."

The WTA meanwhile announced that an additional tournament had been added to the 2021 calendar, the Chicago Women's Open, on the week of August 23, just ahead of the US Open in New York.

The ATP said its tournament in Marrakech, the Grand Prix Hassan II, had also been cancelled for 2021 following its postponement from April.

Indian Wells organisers meanwhile said the tournament would offer $15.3 million in prize money -- the most for a combined ATP and WTA event outside of the Grand Slams since the start of the pandemic.

Fans, media, staff and sponsors attending the tournament would need to show valid proof of vaccination in order to enter Indian Wells Tennis Garden, while additional testing and mask mandates may be required depending on Covid-19 conditions in the region at the time of the tournament.


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