With few exceptions, WTA tournaments in China are notoriously played with not many fans attending the events.
This lack of interest has attracted a lot of criticism as it seemed like the “soul” of the sport was sold out to make money. Of course, tennis is part of the entertainment industry, but sometimes it seems that the boundaries are pushed a bit too much and this is what has probably happened in Zhengzhou.
The “fake fans” in Zhengzhou.
The WTA event in Zhengzhou has a fantastic line-up for a new tournament that comes the week after the US Open that is played on the other part of the world. The “lucky” fans (if any) have the chances to see the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, and Angelique Kerber to fight for the title.
— Elina Svitolina FP✨ (@SvitolinaNL) September 7, 2019
On Tuesday there was a big crowd watching the match of Angelique Kerber facing Alison Riske. Even the well-known commentator Jose Morgado tweeted his surprise for seeing so many people saying: “Oh. A big crowd in China!”
Oh. A big crowd in China! pic.twitter.com/p17ndmtxSq
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 10, 2019
Organized spectators with the obligation to see the match? VIDEO
Some incredible reports are coming on Twitter stating that “there are tons of organized spectators from school and business partner of the tournament coming holding giveaway tickets, whereas fans who ACTUALLY need tickets can’t get them.”
In addition, it was added that the spectators do not even know who are the players and they stay there against their will (i.e. they are not really interested in)
That’s not good for the sport.
I am sitting among the sponsor spectator group. I tried to ask if any of them can sell their tickets to me, and was told they CANNOT, coz it is their OBLIGATION and they have to come regardless of their wills😫😫😫😫 pic.twitter.com/Je4imWqvMc
— K.TheAngel😇笑_H (@Xiao_CXY_H) September 10, 2019