Wuhan’s spot on 2020 calendar offers hope for all, says organizer
MUMBAI: When the WTA announced a provisional list of tournaments for the remainder of a season that will be forever defined by the COVID-19 outbreak last week, one name above all stood out — the Wuhan Open.
It was in the central Chinese city, the home of China’s first Grand Slam champion Li Na, that the novel coronavirus first emerged before spreading to the rest of the world, forcing the suspension of professional tennis in early March.
Wuhan has accounted for the majority of China’s coronavirus deaths to date and the city was subject to one of the strictest lockdowns in the world for 76 days.
“To go through that, to overcome that, I think it’s huge,” the tournament’s co-director Brenda Perry told Reuters from her home in Auckland.
“It’s huge symbolism and I think very inspiring for everybody there.
“At the moment that’s one of the first to experience the closest to being back to normal that we see around the world. It’s a very hopeful story for not just Wuhan but for China, for the world, of overcoming a huge challenge.”
After a cluster of new cases of the virus in May sparked fears of a second spike, Wuhan tested 9.9 million people out of a population of 11 million.
“I feel that Wuhan did some incredible job on recovery,” Perry said. - Reuters