The WTA has suspended the women’s tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai after news broke Thursday that Chinese player Peng Shuai was taken to the hospital with a suspected stroke. The teams in the WTA event in Beijing had offered their support for Peng, who has won 16 career tournaments, 15 of them doubles titles.
“Peng’s teams offered their most thoughtful and supportive assistance in her time of need,” said Ariana Austin, the WTA’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. “We wish her a speedy recovery.”
Peng, 36, is ranked No. 20 in doubles, making her the highest-ranked doubles player in the WTA Tour event in China. The 24th-ranked women’s singles player in the world, Peng reached the semifinals at the Australian Open in January.
The WTA tournament in Beijing, on April 1-3, and the WTA’s event in Shanghai, on April 6-9, are as follows:
Beijing WTA Tour Finals – April 1-3, WTA official venue, QF2
2019 China Open – April 6-9, WTA official venue, R1
Shanghai Masters – April 6-9, WTA official venue, R2
Neither event will change plans as of now, although the WTA will review the tournament in Beijing later. This is the second time in recent months the WTA has suspended an event due to illness or injury. The WTA tournament in Bucharest was put on hold when Viktorija Golubic, ranked 19th in the world, fell ill in July. She was out of the draw, the first time she had missed a match in a professional tournament in her entire career.
“We were deeply saddened to learn of recent health issues that have interrupted two women’s tournaments in China,” said John Rothey, president of tournament operations for the WTA. “We sincerely hope that when Peng makes a full recovery, she can be back on court as soon as possible and look forward to welcoming her back to the tour.”
In China, Peng is a well-known figure. She is the former world No. 1 in doubles, making her the only person to do so.
She became the first Chinese player to win an elite tour event in 1998, at the Taipei Open. She made three career Grand Slam finals. She and her partner, Martina Hingis, won the Australian Open doubles title in 1997 and 1997-98.