The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced the suspension of all tournaments in China amid concerns about the safety of the Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, following weeks of a high-profile row with Beijing over the player’s wellbeing.
In the past, sports organisations have rapidly backed down from rows with Beijing for fear of losing its gigantic market.
The move was welcomed by world tennis figures who have been campaigning for Peng’s safety.
“I applaud Steve Simon and the WTA leadership for taking a strong stand on defending human rights in China and around the world,” said Billie Jean King.
This is another reason why women’s tennis is the leader in women’s sports.”.
Novak Djokovic, World No 1 and cofounder of the Professional Tennis Players Association, said he fully supported the WTA’s stance, and everyone including the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was “asking for clarity on what is going on”.
Fellow tennis stars including Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams have both tweeted in solidarity with Peng under the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai. »