WTA Hong Kong tennis postponed following pro-democracy protests

WTA, Hong Kong protests, Tennis championship, violent pro-democracy protests, Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Hong Kong Open,
The Hong Kong Open is played at Victoria Park, one of the main gathering points for the mass protests that erupted more than three months ago over the erosion of freedoms under Beijing's rule. Photo: @haasbenjamin/Twitter

The WTA Hong Kong Open women’s tennis tournament has been postponed, organisers said on Friday (September 12), citing the “present situation” after months of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests.

“In light of the present situation, Hong Kong Tennis Association and the WTA are announcing a postponement of the 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open,” a Hong Kong Tennis Association statement said.

“After extensive discussions with our key stakeholders, we conclude that a smooth running of the tournament can be better assured at a later time,” it added.

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The Hong Kong Open, which was scheduled for October 5-13, has previously attracted a number of top players including Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki, the 2016 champion.

It is played at Victoria Park, one of the main gathering points for the mass protests that erupted more than three months ago over the erosion of freedoms under Beijing’s rule.

Millions have taken part in the demonstrations, which were initially triggered by a bill, since scrapped, to allow extraditions to mainland China.