As time goes by, the WTA community starts getting into the panic mode: Where is Peng Shuai?
The 35-year-old Chinese tennis player has been missing ever since accusing a high-ranking Chinese politician of sexual assault via a quickly-deleted social media post. To make the situation even more intriguing, the WTA recently received an email, supposedly written by Peng Shuai, but WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon issued a statement questioning the authenticity of that correspondence. Additionally, he said: “I have repeatedly tried to reach her via numerous forms of communication, to no avail.”
The situation gets more concerning by the minute, as Peng Shuai is still nowhere to be found. WTA players took to social media to spread the word, hoping to raise awareness and get some information about their colleague.
The first top player to draw attention to the issue was Naomi Osaka. The four-time Grand Slam champion wrote on November 16:
Hey everyone, not sure if you’ve been following the news, but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused. Censorship is never OK at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and OK. I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way. #whereispengshuai
Serena Williams emphases that we must not stay silent:
I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai. I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. This must be investigated and we must not stay silent. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time. #whereispengshuai
Julia Goerges wants answers:
I am deeply concerned about the ongoing situation involving Peng Shuai. We live in a world where victims should not be silenced and I stand with the entire tennis community in saying, we want answers! #whereisPengShuai
Kim Clijsters asks the entire tennis community to get together:
Strong stand by WTA. All of us players, male and female, need to get behind this. We need to know she is safe!
Shelby Rogers urges everyone to share the story:
We need to hear from her. Please continue to share this story! @wta #WhereIsPengShuai
Jessica Pegula is also deeply concerned:
I hope the WTA continues to show what we stand for as players. We are extremely lucky to be able to do what we do but I hope more people, not just tennis players, shed some light on this deeply concerning situation.
Jamie Hampton suggests to the WTA to pause their cooperation with China until we learn that Peng is alive and well:
Suspend your dealings with China until you can visually confirm the physical well-being of Peng Shuai via livestream interview @WTA #WhereIsPengShuai
Nicole Gibbs definitely does not believe that the email was sent by Peng Shuai:
This is getting creepier by the second. So clearly not written by Peng Shuai. #whereispengshuai
Australian Ellen Perez went into detective mode, even noticing that the cursor in the email was oddly positioned:
This whole thing has me even more worried. This is the most poorly written “email” which can’t actually be an email with a floating curser in the second line 🤦♀️ 🚩#WhereIsPengShuai https://t.co/ozN0tb1n2M
— Ellen Perez (@EllenPerez95) November 18, 2021
Mandy Minella, Carla Suarez Navarro, Kirsten Flipkens, Barbora Strycova, Maria Sakkari, Amelie Mauresmo, Donna Vekic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alize Lim, Laura Robson, Ons Jabeur, Jennifer Brady, and many other WTA players also expressed worry about the safety of Peng Shuai.