While the WTA has gone to economic war with China over the fate of its player Peng Shuai – officially silenced and possibly “disappeared – the ATP on Thursday instead opted to  not rock the boat over the issue..

The player who is feared to be under some form of house arrest by the regime after accusing a former senior party officials of historic sexual assault over a period of years, has been removed from social media and trotted out for what looked to be a few staged performances.

Despite the 35-year-old double Grand Slam doubles champion saying she was fine and in good health, the WTA has already ended all tournament involvement with China – 10 annual events or more – after not receiving genuine proof that the player is safe.

But instead of taking a duplicate tough stand, ATP boss Andrea Gaudenzi issued a watered-down statement swimming in politically correct buzzwords and jargon.

“The situation involving Peng Shuai continues to raise serious concerns within and outside of our sport,” Gaudenzi said.

“So far, the answer to those concerns has fallen short.

“Again, we urge a direct and open line of communication between the player and the WTA to establish a clearer picture of your situation.

“We know that sport can have a positive influence on society, and overall we believe that having a global presence gives us the best opportunity to create opportunities and have an impact.

“We will continue to consult with our members and monitoring any developments as this issue evolves.”

Former player Gaudenzi copped immediate pushback from some male players led by the former No. 1 and now retired Andy Roddick: “How to say a lot of works and say nothing,” he posted on social media, 

Current competitors Tennys Sandgren and Noeh Rubin plus German Dustin Brown echoing those sentiments.

The outspoken Sandgren, not noted for having a filter, was the most direct; “This is piss,” he posted.

Meanwhile, the USTA, which runs the US Open, has sided fully with the WTA over the contentious issue.

The organisations “commended” the WTA for “the leadership they have shown in protecting the rights of women.”

The body called for a “full and transparent investigation in Peng Shuai’s sexual assault accusation.

“This type of leadership (from WTA head Steve Simon who has cancelled up to 10 or more Chinese events in 2022) is courageous and what is needed to ensure the rights of all individuals are protected and all voices are heard.”

Main photo:- ATP Supremo Andrea Gaudenzi accused of “pathetic” response to Peng Shuai situation


Leave a Reply