London, July 21 (IANS) The Shanghai Masters, China Open (Beijing), Chengdu Open, and Zhuhai Championships in China will not be held this year due to Covid-19 restrictions in the country, the ATP Tour said on Thursday.
The ATP has issued updates to the 2022 ATP Tour calendar, including cancellation of events in China. However, it has included six additional single-year events for pandemic hit China.
China hosted the Winter Olympics under strict health protocols in February but almost every other international sporting event in the country this year has been cancelled or postponed.
ATP on Thursday confirmed the Shanghai Masters, China Open (Beijing), Chengdu Open, and Zhuhai Championships will not take place in 2022 due to ongoing restrictions related to Covid-19.
This marks the third year of cancellation for the ATP’s China swing, typically hosted in September and October and last staged in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
In parallel, ATP has announced six ATP 250 tournaments, issued as single-year event licenses for the 2022 season.
Single-year event licenses were first issued by ATP in 2020, in response to pandemic-related event cancellations, to maintain playing opportunities and also enable tennis to explore new markets.
In addition, the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan, an ATP 250 event, will this year be staged as an ATP 500 alongside the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo. The Astana Open became a permanent ATP Tour member this season following two editions as a single-year event in 2020 and 2021, through the transfer and relocation of the St. Petersburg tournament.
All other events for the remainder of the ATP Tour season are currently set to proceed as scheduled, culminating at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said, “As a global sport we continue to manage the impacts of the pandemic. Event cancellations are an unfortunate reality, and we wish our affected tournament members and fans well. At the same time, it’s incredibly encouraging to have many great cities step up to host ATP Tour tennis this season. This shows the strong international interest in our product and validates the agile approach we’ve taken in responding to fast-changing circumstances. We would like to thank all stakeholders involved in this process and look forward to an exciting second half of the season.”