In Strasbourg, Steve Simon assures that Peng Shuai is “safe”

On Wednesday, during the Strasbourg Open, WTA chief Steve Simon gave reassuring news about Peng Shuai

Peng Shuai with Press Holdings Limited © Rights Reserved

Speaking at the WTA Strasbourg Open on Wednesday, WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon has said that he has reassurances about the safety and the whereabouts of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.

Simon’s comments come as the WTA Tour prepares to return to China later this year. As a reminder, Peng Shuai had mysteriously disappeared in November 2021 after accusing a former vice premier of China of sexual abuse. Since then, the rare appearances of the former world No 1 doubles player have been very circumspect and she has still not appeared “free”. The WTA Tour had decided to suspend all tournaments in China following the incident but last month stated that the tournaments would resume in 2023.

“We were reassured by the fact that Peng Shuai is safe and we know where she is,” said Simon on Wednesday. “Two years later, the progress we wanted to see in China has not led to a solution. So it was time to change our approach. We were reassured by the fact that Peng Shuai is safe and we know where she is. That was the first thing to do.”

“We never said we would never come back to China,” the American said according to L’Equipe. “The main thing is how can we defend Peng Shuai’s interests and how can we make meaningful changes there to solve problems? I hope the return of the WTA to China will give us the opportunity to do that.”

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