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WTA Pan Pacific Open cancelled due to Coronavirus fears
The organisers of the Toray Pan Pacific Open have announced the cancellation of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally scheduled to be held at Tokyo's Ariake Tennis Park in November, it is the last of three Japanese tennis tournaments to be cancelled due to concerns surrounding the pandemic.
Events already scrapped included the Hana-Cupid Japan Women's Open and the Rakuten Japan Open - the latter event being part of the men's Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) circuit.
In a statement, the organisers advised "the Executive Committee looked at every possible way to make this tournament happen, including the idea of holding matches without audiences or restricting admissions in order to prioritise the health and safety of everyone involved.
"However, after a series of deliberations, the Executive Committee made a heartrending decision to rule out the postponement, and concluded that the cancellation of the tournament was the best decision in the interest of public health, especially in light of the concern about the second wave of infection spreading in Japan."
A regular part of the Asian WTA calendar, the Pan Pacific Open has been held every year since its inauguration in 1984.
The hardcourt tournament is rated as a WTA Premier Tournament and had already been postponed from September to November after the ATP and WTA Tours were disrupted.
To date, there have been more than 30,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan, resulting in the deaths of 998 people - with daily cases recently hitting an all-time high in the capital of Tokyo.
The Ariake Tennis Park is due to host the tennis events at the Tokyo Olympics.
Image: Actrion at Tokyo's Ariake Tennis Park. Courtesy of Kyodo News.
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15th July 2020 - Tokyo Governor says Olympics must go ahead in 2021
10th July 2020 - China bans international sporting events until 2021
24th April 2020 - WTA founder, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal propose merger of ATP and WTA
31st March 2020 - Chinese authorities maintain spectator ban for major sports leagues
26th March 2020 - Japan National Stadium wins Jury prize at Stadium of the Year Awards
27th January 2020 - Coronavirus impacts Asian sporting events
27th December 2019 - Leading global brands partner with ATP Cup
1st November 2019 - Shenzhen stages first edition of WTA Finals
13th September 2019 - Protests lead to postponement of Hong Kong Open WTA Tour event
9th February 2019 - New Zhengzhou tennis complex to host WTA tour event
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