— Published 5 January 2023

WTA wants to meet Peng Shuai

The case of Peng Shuai (pictured above) is no longer in the news, but the Women’s Professional Tennis Association (WTA) remains firm in its position that it will not consider a return to China until it has had a “private” meeting with the former Chinese player. The WTA said in a statement that it had asked the Chinese authorities for a meeting with Peng Shuai to discuss her situation. We have received confirmation that Peng is safe and comfortable, but we have not yet met with her personally,” the statement said. We remain firm in our position, continue to think about Peng Shuai and the WTA continues to work towards a resolution of the matter. We have always said we hope to resume WTA tournaments in the region, but we will not compromise on our core principles to achieve this.” Following the disappearance of the former player, the WTA had decided in December 2021 to remove all its tournaments in China from the calendar. This was a courageous but economically difficult decision, as China is a huge market for women’s tennis. Since then, Peng Shuai has reappeared in public, notably in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. But the players’ association has not softened its stance. It announced last September that the tour was likely to return during 2023, but without giving a date. Obviously, its return remains conditional on Peng Shuai’s actual situation.