Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai needs to qualify for WTA Finals, says WTA chief

[Evolving in the subject matter of commentary on tennis] This is not meant to complain or criticize Steve Simon, the WTA’s chief executive, but to emphasize just how important it is that Chinese player Peng Shuai qualify for the upcoming WTA Finals in Singapore.

The WTA is going to “very methodically work” on Peng’s case, he told reporters at the Shanghai Open.

Peng didn’t qualify in Singapore last year because of a series of visa issues. (The tournament dates changed from the Beijing and Singapore events to Singapore in 2015.) She was forced to move to another city and missed the Dubai Open, qualifying for the Finals by winning the qualifying round the following week.

Lorenzo Indrio / Courtesy AFP/Getty Images Peng Shuai will probably have to qualify for the WTA Finals if she wants to compete for the doubles title in Singapore.

Simon believes that Asia is an increasingly important, and lucrative, market for tennis, so players can’t just focus on qualifying for tournaments without playing, or meeting, the required standards required to play there. For example, out of 152,254 seats available at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, only 3,228 were on sale in Beijing (and 214 in New York, just 300 in Shanghai and 858 in Singapore).

There is a tangible reward for top women in the sport: a step up to the women’s top 100. Peng is currently inside it.

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