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TENNIS

Where is missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai?

Osaka, Djokovic and Evert are among the athletes that have voiced concern over the missing WTA player who accused Chinese politician of sexual assault.

Update:
China's Peng Shuai hits a return during her women's singles match against Romania's Monica Nicolescu at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing.
GREG BAKERAFP

On November 2 one of China’s best tennis players, Peng Shuai, published a post from her Weibo account, China’s equivalent of Twitter, revealing she was sexually assaulted by China’s former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli at his home.

World shocked by Peng Shuai disappearance

Despite China’s government censoring her post and blocking her account, her story managed to leak out through the Great Wall as other people took screenshots of it while it was up for just 30 minutes.

If the WTA wasn’t already perplexed by the player's latest revelations, the fact that Peng has gone missing since her sexual assault allegations has shocked the world.

Thousands of people, including several athletes, have been calling for answers on the star’s whereabouts on their social media, demanding that she is returned safely.

Athletes show their concerns

Naomi Osaka was the latest athlete to mount on the growing number of international athletes who are showing their concern of what might have happened to the WTA player.

Tennis legend and 39 time Grand Slam championship-winner Billie Jean King said on Twitter, "Hoping that Peng Shuai is found safe and that her accusations are fully investigated."

Chris Evert, who has a close bond with Peng, has also shown her concern and posted several tweets about the situation.

Djokovic was also asked in a press conference about his feelings regarding the latest news.

"I hope that she will be found, that she's okay. It's terrible … I can imagine just how her family feels that she's missing," he said.

WTA pushes China to investigate the allegations

In a statement on Sunday, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Chairman Steve Simon, called on the Chinese government to investigate the player's allegations "fully, fairly, transparently and without censorship" and enhanced the importance of listening to all women who openly speak of those topics, instead of censoring them.

"Peng Shuai, and all women, deserve to be heard, not censored," Simon said. "Her accusation about the conduct of a former Chinese leader involving a sexual assault must be treated with the utmost seriousness."

The WTA also said someone had confirmed that the player was safe and sound and not under any physical threat. However, despite the strong efforts to get in touch with her, they haven't been able to reach her directly.

 

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