Reigning Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty is the latest player to speak out in support of Peng Shuai, who hasn’t been verifiably reachable by the WTA since the former doubles world No. 1 posted a sexual assault allegation against former vice premier Zhang Gaoli on her Weibo account November 2.
Speaking with Tennis Australia, the top-ranked women’s singles player said, “Peng Shuai is part of the tennis family, she has been on the tour for a long time and is someone we all know and respect.
“The most important thing right now is that she is safe.”
The International Olympic Committee has insinuated Peng’s well-being is fine after claiming to hold two video conferences with the 36-year-old. Yet in both cases, the IOC did not release any video or transcript from the chats. WTA Chairman & CEO Steve Simon said that evidence was not strong enough to alleviate the tour’s concerns and has since suspended tournament operations in China.