The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced today (Monday) that its season-ending WTA Finals will be held in the Mexican city of Guadalajara and not in Shenzhen, China as planned.

Shenzhen first staged the WTA Finals in 2019 as part of a long-term deal with the WTA. The WTA did not give a specific reason for the relocation to Guadalajara but the decision comes amid the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA confirmed that Shenzhen will return as host in 2022 and will continue staging the event until 2030.

Guadalajara will host the WTA Finals in the week of November 8, with further details to be announced at a press conference in the coming days. The city successfully staged a WTA 250 event in March earlier this year.

The WTA Finals did not go ahead in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the status of this year’s event had been uncertain after the WTA in July cancelled its Asia swing of tournaments because of the pandemic.

Steve Simon, WTA chairman and chief executive, said: “I would like to extend my appreciation to the Guadalajara tournament organisers and Octagon for their commitment in hosting the event this season and for helping the WTA write another exciting chapter in WTA Finals history.

“We are excited to bring our showpiece tournament to the exciting and vibrant city of Guadalajara in this unique year. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Gemdale Corporation in Shenzhen for their cooperation and resilience, and we look forward to returning in 2022 to enjoy the WTA Finals over the next decade.”

Tournament director Gustavo Santoscoy said that it is an “immense honour” for Guadalajara to host the WTA Finals, while Eddy Liu, co-tournament director of the Shenzhen event and chief executive of Gemdale Sports, said that he looks forward to welcoming the tournament back to China in 2022 and building on the legacy of the 2019 edition.

Shenzhen assumed hosting rights from Singapore, which staged the event for five years until 2018. Shenzhen saw off competition from Manchester, Prague and St Petersburg to land the event.

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