Peng Shuai situation explained: Serena Williams, WTA sound off on tennis star's disappearance, allegations

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai hasn’t been seen for 16 days and counting after she implicated a previous Chinese Communist celebration leader of sexual attack, developing considerable issue within the WTA and tennis neighborhood over her location. The previous Wimbledon and French Open doubles champ declared retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli required her into sex 3 years earlier in a since-deleted online post to the Chinese social-media website Weibo on Nov. 2.

The WTA has actively forced China into verifying Peng’s security and examining her claims, even threatening to pull its rewarding service from the nation if those actions aren’t taken.  

Peng’s tennis peers have actually been similarly encouraging, with Novak Djokovic calling her disappearance “shocking” and Chris Evert explaining the whole scenario as “disturbing.” Billie Jean King composed that she hopes Peng, a previous world No. 1, is discovered safe while Alize Cornet included “Let’s not remain silent” with the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai. 

The most popular females’s tennis gamer on earth, Naomi Osaka, tweeted that she is “in shock of the current situation” and is “sending love and light her way.” 

Serena Williams, the sport’s preeminent force long in the past Osaka, shared the exact same photo of Peng with a similarly worried belief. 

Here’s a sequential take a look at how the whole scenario with Peng has actually unfolded, starting on:  

Nov. 2: Peng Shuai makes sexual attack claims versus Zhang

In a 1,600-word post to Weibo, Peng implicated the 75-year-old Zhang — a previous leader within China’s Communist celebration — of pushing her into sex around 3 years earlier. Peng, 35, declared the attack happened after Zhang welcomed her to play tennis with him and his partner at their home, however she confessed she had no proof. 

“I was so scared that afternoon,” composed Peng, who declared a guard stood watch outside the door while the attack happened. “I never gave consent, crying the entire time.”

Peng stated she and Zhang ended up being familiarized with each other while the latter was working as Tianjin’s celebration manager from 2007-2012, and Zhang required her into sex after leaving his post as China’s vice premier in 2017. 

“I know that for someone of your stature, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you have said that you are not afraid,” Peng composed. “But even if it is like throwing an egg against rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you.”

The post was erased within thirty minutes, and Chinese censors obstructed search terms such as Peng’s name.

Nov. 14: WTA president requires examination into scenario

Steve Simon, WTA’s president, asked for a “full, fair and transparent” examination into Peng’s claims in a declaration. At that point, nobody had actually seen or spoken with Peng for 12 days, triggering the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to spread out throughout social networks. 

“Obviously she displayed tremendous courage going public,” Simon informed the New York Times. “Now we want to make sure we’re moving forward to a place where a full and transparent investigation is conducted. Anything else, I think, is an affront to not only our players but to all women.”

Simon threatened to pull the WTA’s service from China if the nation stopped working to effectively examine Peng’s claims. China presently hosts 11 WTA competitions and the trip finals in Shenzhen. 

While Simon could not straight verify Peng’s location or condition, he informed the Times that a number of sources — consisting of the Chinese Tennis Association — informed him that she’s “safe and not under any physical threat.” Simon’s “understanding” was that she remained in Beijing. 

Nov. 15: China remains quiet on Peng Shuai’s claims, disappearance

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijan stated “this is not a diplomatic question” when inquired about Peng’s claims, including he had “not heard of the issue.” The nation, 13 days after Peng’s post, still had yet to acknowledge it. 

Nov. 17:  WTA concerns authenticity of Peng Shuai declaration

An e-mail presumably sent out from Peng on Wednesday declared the WTA did not get her permission or confirmation prior to launching its declaration. It was Peng’s initially public remarks because her claims, however some, consisting of the WTA, had concerns relating to the authenticity of the declaration. 

“The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true,” the e-mail, which was tweeted out by China state-affiliated media China Global Television Network, check out. “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine.” 

Simon then freely questioned whether Peng was pushed into composing it. 

“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” Simon composed. “Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source.”

Peng has still yet to be seen because her social networks post on Nov. 2. 

Nov. 18: Simon, WTA threatens to pull Chinese service

Simon doubled down on his danger to pull the WTA’s service from China, a nation his company has actually broadened in over the previous a number of years, if it would not verify Peng’s security and examine her claims.

“We’re definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it,” Simon informed CNN. “Because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.”

“Women need to be respected and not censored,” he included.

China hosted 19 WTA competitions in 2019 alone for an overall of $30.4 million cash prize. Shenzhen is slated to host the WTA Finals from 2022-2030 after doing so in 2019 for the very first time. The 2019 Finals had a $14 million reward handbag. 



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