The 2023 edition of the China Open will make history by offering the largest prize purse for a winner in any WTA or ATP event outside of the Year-End Championships.
WTA and ATP events are returning to China after a 16-month absence following the disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who made allegations of sexual assault against a high-profile Chinese politician.
This year, the China Open will be a WTA 1000-level event taking place from September 30th to October 8th, and an ATP 500-level tournament running from September 28th to October 4th, both in Beijing.
The total prize money for the combined 2023 China Open will be $11.6 million. Of this amount, the total prize money for the women's event is nearly $8 million, and for the men's event, it's approximately $3.6 million. Both sums are the highest in international events of the same level.
Organizers have announced that the female winner of the China Open will receive $1.5 million, the largest prize purse ever awarded in any tennis event outside of the WTA Finals. Meanwhile, the champion of the ATP China Open will receive $650,000.
Despite the substantial prize money, there have been criticisms regarding the return of the WTA to China without the Peng Shuai case being fully clarified. In this regard, Steve Simon commented on the stance of the women's association.
“The stance that we took at the time was appropriate. And we stand by that. But 16 months into this, we’re convinced that our requests will not be met. And to continue with the same strategy doesn’t make sense. So we needed to look at a different approach,” Simon said.
"With this, our members believe it’s time to resume the mission in China, where we believe we can continue to make a positive difference, as we have for the last 20 years, while at the same time, making sure that Peng Shuai is not forgotten. By returning, hopefully more progress can be made," he added.