In this Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, a fire set by protesters burns at an entrance to the Central MTR subway station in Hong Kong. Thousands of demonstrators participated in a peaceful march to the U.S. Consulate but later violence broke out in the business and retail but later after protesters vandalized a metro station and blocked traffic at a major thoroughfare, with several people detained. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Organizers postpone Hong Kong WTA event due to protests

September 13, 2019 - 2:33 am

HONG KONG (AP) — The Hong Kong Open tennis tournament was postponed indefinitely Friday because of widespread protests in the region.

The tournament had been scheduled to be held from Oct. 5-13 on outdoor hard courts at Victoria Park. Tournament organizers said the event would be put back "in light of the present situation" but did not give a new date.

A summer of protest has rocked the region, led by campaigns against a proposed extradition law which would allow Hong Kong suspects to be sent to China for trial.

"In light of the present situation, Hong Kong Tennis Association and the WTA are announcing a postponement of the 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open," organizers said in a statement. "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 packed tennis calendar could make that impossible.

If the tournament is delayed by more than a week, it would clash with two end-of-season events, the Elite Trophy and WTA Finals. Shortly after that comes the Fed Cup final between France and Australia.


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