WTA

Hong Kong Open postponed after anti-government protests

By Sports Desk September 13, 2019

The Hong Kong Open, a WTA Tour event that was due to begin on October 5, has been postponed because of ongoing protests in the region.

An extradition bill has led to months of civil unrest in Hong Kong and protests have continued despite the proposed legislation being withdrawn.

The tennis event was scheduled to be held in Victoria Park, which has become a meeting point for anti-government marches.

A statement on the tournament's website read: "In light of the present situation, Hong Kong Tennis Association and the WTA are announcing a postponement of the 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open. The event will no longer take place during 5-13 October.

"The Open is the flagship event on our annual calendar and one of the most popular international sporting events in the city, attracting thousands of local fans and overseas travellers every year.

"As the winner of the WTA International event of the year award in 2018, we strive to maintain a high standard of the event for all participants, players and the fans in particular.

"However, after extensive discussions with our key stakeholders, we conclude that a smooth running of the tournament can be better assured at a later time.

"The event organisers and WTA are in active discussion on identifying an alternate week for the hosting of the event. Further announcement will be made in due course."

The Hong Kong Open returned to the WTA calendar in 2014 after a 20-year absence.

Related items

  • Khachanov flys the flag in Moscow after Medvedev withdrawal Khachanov flys the flag in Moscow after Medvedev withdrawal

    Karen Khachanov thrilled the Moscow crowd as he saved five match points before overcoming veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Kremlin Cup.

    The world number eight, top seed and defending champion at the ATP 250 event, found himself 5-3 down in the decider but refused to buckle as Kohlschreiber eyed a notable scalp on his 36th birthday.

    Khachanov – now the focus of home hopes after Daniil Medvedev's withdrawal due to fatigue - repelled three match points to force a tie-break and his calmness from the baseline saw him through more trouble to prevail 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

    Andreas Seppi is up next for Khachanov after the experienced Italian similarly came from a set down to beat Roberto Carballes Baena 5-7 6-1 6-3.

    Serbian fourth seed Dusan Lajovic also went the distance against Lukas Rosol, coming through 6-4 6-7 (8-6) 6-3 to beat his Czech opponent and set up a quarter-final clash against last year's runner-up Adrian Mannarino – a straight-sets winner over Mikhail Kukushkin.

    Stan Wawrinka returned to action at the European Open, competing for the first time since his US Open quarter-final loss, and his troublesome knee was given a thorough workout by Feliciano Lopez.

    The two seasoned campaigners provided plenty of entertainment - a sumptuous backhand half-volley at the net in the first set serving as a particular highlight from Wawrinka, who came through 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

    The 34-year-old Swiss will take on Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals after the world number 47 came through his all-French clash against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-5.

    Andy Murray will face Pablo Cuevas in round two after the eighth-seeded Uruguayan beat Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3, while Guido Pella ensured further South American success by beating Kwon Soon-woo 7-5 7-5 to earn a quarter-final place.

    Frances Tiafoe's reward for breaking a three-match losing streak, defeating Yannick Maden, will be a meeting with another German opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff.

    At the Stockholm Open, US Open semi-finalist and second seed Grigor Dimitrov was dumped out by Sam Querrey, losing 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Taylor Fritz was another seed to fall – 7-5 6-4 against Yoshihito Nishioka,

    Filip Krajinovic is up next for Nishioka after beating Dan Evans 7-5 2-6 6-3.

  • Tired Gauff brushed aside by Blinkova in Luxembourg Tired Gauff brushed aside by Blinkova in Luxembourg

    Anna Blinkova overcame a fatigued Coco Gauff as the American teenager was unable to back up her Linz triumph at the Luxembourg Open.

    Gauff claimed the first WTA title of her fledgling career in Austria last week but was clinically dispatched by Russian Blinkova 6-4 6-0 on Wednesday.

    The beaten 15-year-old American complained of feeling tired as she was swept aside in the second set and found Blinkova in uncompromising mood.

    World number 66 Blinkova made only five unforced errors and hit 18 winners in her first-round victory.

    Defending champion Julia Goerges saw off 2015 winner Misaki Doi in a gruelling three-set battle, the second seed coming back to triumph 5-7 6-1 6-3 to reach round two.

    Wednesday brought a more straightforward outing for third seed Elena Rybakina, who breezed past Denisa Allertova 6-2 6-1 to earn a quarter-final place.

    Jelena Ostapenko beat Caty McNally in straight sets and will meet top seed Elise Mertens in the last-16, while there were second-round wins for Margarita Gasparyan and Laura Siegemund.

    At the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Belinda Bencic pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Polona Hercog 1-6 6-3 6-4 and book a quarter-final place.

    As well as being blown away in the opening set, number three seed Bencic found herself 3-0 down in the decider before shifting through the gears to win six of the last seven games.

    Bencic will next tackle Kirsten Flipkens, who bested fifth seed Dayana Yastremska 6-3 3-6 6-3.

    Ekaterina Alexandrova had too much for fellow Russian Anna Kalinskaya, thrashing her compatriot 6-1 6-1 before their home crowd. Karolina Muchova, who stormed past fourth seed Donna Vekic 6-4 6-2, will be Alexandrova's last-eight opponent.

  • 'Physically and mentally exhausted' Medvedev explains Moscow withdrawal 'Physically and mentally exhausted' Medvedev explains Moscow withdrawal

    Daniil Medvedev felt he had no choice but to withdraw from his home tournament in Moscow after a gruelling schedule.

    It was announced on Tuesday that world number four Medvedev would not take part in the Kremlin Cup, foregoing the chance to reach a seventh consecutive final on the ATP Tour.

    Final number six ended in victory over Alexander Zverev at the Shanghai Masters last Sunday but, after 59 wins on tour this year, the US Open finalist felt taking to the court once again this week would have been a bridge too far.

    "Nobody knew that I would do so well in Shanghai to reach my sixth final in a row," Medvedev told ATPTour.com.

    "I just feel that I am physically and mentally exhausted. I can't be 100 per cent. As a professional, I cannot step on court knowing that I am not 100 per cent ready to play.

    "On the one hand, it is very sad, because I really wanted to play in Moscow in front of my home crowd. I've played for four years in a row in Moscow and each year my results improved.

    "But, on the other hand, this is how it is. It is professional sport, and I must do what is best for my body. In this situation, I had no choice."

    However, Medvedev was keen to allay fears over his readiness to compete at the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month, and he is slated to return to action at the Vienna Open next Monday.

    "I feel amazing and have a great mood," Medvedev added. "I've never dreamed about six finals in a row."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.