180929 sabalenka wuhan photo [600x400]
180929 sabalenka wuhan photo [600x400] (Credit: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

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The Wuhan Open is back on the women's tennis schedule for the first time since 2019 after organizers announced it will be staged in the Chinese city in October, Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.

The 1000 tournament has not featured on the WTA circuit since COVID-19 was discovered in the city, which became the location of the first lockdown of the pandemic in January 2020.

Wuhan, home to former Australian Open and French Open champion Li Na, saw the sport's popularity surge in the last two decades. Australian Open finalist Zheng Qinwen had also relocated there as a child for training.

"We are delighted to announce the return of the WTA 1000 event to Wuhan, and reignite the thrill of elite tennis competition in one of Asia's most vibrant cities," Jorge Salkeld, senior vice president of organizers Octagon Tennis was reported as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The tournament will be held from Oct. 7-13 at the Optics Valley International Tennis Center in Wuhan.