The WTA Elite Trophy is one of the two second year-ending championships of the WTA Tour. While the WTA Tour finals feature the Top 8 players of the season, the WTA Elite Trophy features players ranked from 9th to 19th.
Four groups, each consisting of three players, play each other in a round-robin format. The group toppers advance to the semis, the winners of which contest the final. The first edition of the event was held in 2015. Each edition of the event has been held in Zhuhai, China. However, the event has not been held since 2019. In 2020, it was called off because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The following year, Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai found herself at the crossroads of politics, sexual assault allegations and safety concerns. The disappearance of the tennis athlete following her Weibo post with allegations of sexual abuse on Zhang Gaoli (former Chinese vice-premier). The case drew global media attention, with the International Tennis Federation, European Union and the United Nations vouching for the security of Peng Shuai.
The WTA also showed its protest by cancelling all the tournaments in China till Shuai’s safety is assured. Hence, in 2021 and 2022, the WTA Elite Trophy that was held in Zhuhai, was cancelled.
As per reports, the WTA is planning to bring back some of these Chinese events in 2023. One of these events is most likely to be the WTA Elite Trophy. Peng Shuai’s case though, still remains hazy. The last edition of the event held in 2019 saw Aryna Sabalenka win the title.