Naomi Osaka 'shocked' that Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has gone missing 2 months ago

Naomi Osaka 'shocked' that Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has gone missing

"I'm in shock of the current situation and I'm sending love and light her way."

World tennis champion Naomi Osaka is the latest athlete to voice concerns over the whereabouts of Peng Shuai.

Advertisement

The Chinese tennis star has not been seen since posting allegations of sexual assault against a former senior Chinese official.

Peng - a former world number one doubles player - posted on Chinese social media site Weibo saying that she was "forced" into a sexual relationship with Zhang Gaoli.

Her allegations, which were soon deleted from China's internet, were made earlier this month and marked the first time that such a claim has been made against one of China's senior political leaders.

Zhang, 75, served as China's vice-premier between 2013 and 2018 and was a close ally of President Xi Jinping, and has not responded to her claims.

Advertisement

Despite her allegations, Peng stated she would not be able to provide evidence to support her claims.

There have been concerns among the global tennis community as Peng has not been seen since posting the allegation.

Although the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said it had confirmed that she was "safe and not under any physical threat", they were not able to directly reach her.

Chief Executive of the WTA Steve Simon said the WTA had received confirmation from several sources - including the Chinese Tennis Association - that Ms Peng was safe, but did add that he had not been able to reach her directly.

"My understand is that she is in Beijing in China, but I can't confirm that because I haven't spoken directly with her," Mr Simon told news outlet The New York Times.

Advertisement

On Tuesday (16 November), four-time Grand Slam singles champion Osaka expressed her concern about Peng.

"I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused," Ms Osaka tweeted, using the hashtag #WhereisPengShuai.

"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."

It comes after twenty-time Men's Grand Slam champion Djokovic spoke about the situation, stating that it is 'shocking' that she hasn't been seen.

Advertisement