The International Tennis Federation (ITF) believes that suspending two of China’s top tennis players, Peng Shuai and Zhang Ze, over their recent Beijing outburst was the best course of action.
The Beijing policemen do not want to punish a billion people
Not content with sanctioning them with a third-round ban from the Taiwan Open, International Tennis Federation (ITF) is committed to taking a tough stance on the future of its sport in the Middle Kingdom after the spat.
ITF sees China market as immense
The self-governed communist nation’s rapidly growing commercial clout is only set to rise if local tennis authorities can garner the popularity that European tennis stars have quickly mastered in recent years.
As of now, Chinese players Zhang Ze and Peng Shuai will miss the rest of the Taiwan Open, due to begin today, having brawled with each other following their third-round exit to Romanian world number 70 Mihaela Buzarnescu.
It may not have been very popular with the host nation fans (see: their Twitter reaction) but the Taipei tournament organisers held their nose and by Saturday had the two players pulled out of the event, forcing the tournament organizers to adjust their schedule.
Beijing policeman do not want to punish a billion people
The Taipei men’s and women’s tournament organisers are also not happy.
However, their worries pale in comparison to those of the International Tennis Federation, who believe that penalties must be handed down in order to ensure their sporting code is enforced.
“We are disappointed the players did not respect the rules or respect the crowd,” Switzerland-based International Tennis Federation (ITF) chief executive David Haggerty told Reuters.
China has ambitions of becoming a sports and tennis superpower and has already broken into the top 20 of the world’s individual female players, with the best hope being 13-year-old sensation Yuying Lin.
The fact that the International Tennis Federation is determined to keep China’s teams under tight supervision is perhaps going to make them a formidable force in both the men’s and women’s game.
The Asia Pacific region, which now accounts for 20 percent of world tennis’s total attendances, is set to see increased high-profile international events taking place.
The southern Chinese city of Wuhan will stage the China Open in December, followed by an ITF World Tour Finals event. Beijing and Shanghai are also slated to stage a Women’s Open, but this has yet to be confirmed by the ITF.