The WTA is still working to find a resolution to the Peng Shuai issue over China with a standoff but the country will return this year, said tour chief Steve Simon.
The former world number after WTA for Peng’s well-being concern. 1 doubles player posted a message on social media last November accusing China’s former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.
The Post was promptly removed, and Peng disappeared from public view for three weeks.
The following month, the WTA suspended its tournaments in China, a decision expected to cost the elite women’s tours of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship.
“We’re dedicated to finding a resolution to this,” Simon told The Tennis Podcast.
“We want to find a resolution that Peng can be comfortable with, the Chinese government can be comfortable with, and we can be comfortable.
“We are not walking away from China. We have suspended our operations right now. We will continue to do that until we get a resolution.”
“We’ll stay resolute,” Simon continued. “We Do Hope To Be Back In 2023 With The Resolution That Shows Progress In The Space That We Have To Do That Is A World For We Will Accomplish.”
WATCH | WTA suspends tennis tournaments in China:
Peng, who had already retired from professional tennis, made an appearance at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.
The WTA, however, stuck to a formal investigation into its demand for Peng’s allegations and an opportunity to meet her privately.
“We haven’t had any recent communication with either Peng and the world.
“I don’t think you will make change in this world by walking away from issues.
“It may not be everything we want. But we have to find a solution that helps us find that balance and go back and see the area in progress.”
4 ATP tourneys in China
The WTA has yet to announce its 2022 calendar of events in the US Open Grand Slam in September, but Simon said the governing body would announce a “fairly solid” autumn schedule within the next two or three weeks.
While there have been signs of cooperation between the ATP Tour and the WTA since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Men’s Tour has not been announced since its presence in China and the host of four tournaments in the country this season.
Simon said he respected the ATP’s position.
“Their difference is that … they don’t have a member that’s affected,” Simon added. “They will have to make their own decisions at this point in time.
“Would you like to have their support on what we stand for and the issues? Absolutely. But we are not trying to influence their decision in any way, it has to theirs.”