Tennis return to China despite Peng Shuai: Money eats morale

Tennis officials continue to know Peng Shuai’s condition only from hearsay. Bild: AP

The muscle flexing is over. In the face of China’s intransigence, the rest of the world is flagging. Professional tennis is returning to the country, although Peng Shuai’s fate remains unclear.

Where is Peng Shuai? Well, who knows. A few Chinese will probably know, but not the former colleagues on the professional tour and certainly not the big heads from the West, who were terribly worried a year and a half ago after the disappearance of the former tennis player. After Peng Shuai accused a high-ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party of sexual assault via Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, in November 2021 and was then no longer seen in public for weeks, the head of the professional association WTA even relaxed his muscles play.

Unlike IOC President Thomas Bach, who met Peng Shuai during the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing for a controlled and therefore meaningless conversation, the WTA boss reacted surprisingly consistently. He deleted all women’s tournaments from the calendar that should have taken place in China, even the final of the eight best of the year scheduled for Shenzhen had to accept it.

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