WTA has announced the immediate and official suspension of all women's tournaments in China and Hong Kong. The decision was made after the situation that arose around the Chinese tennis player Shuai Peng, an athlete who had publicly accused one of the main members of the Chinese parliament, Zhang Gaoli, of abuse.
Since that moment, any social media publication and any situation relating to the topic has been censored in China. Strong condemnations by the WTA and its CEO Steve Simon who, from the beginning, accused China and declared himself ready to declare 'war' on the Chinese government.
Many have applauded this decision by the WTA, a decision that could bring huge economic damage to women's tennis, estimated at as much as 200 million dollars. Shuai Peng has appeared on video since that day and everything seems to be back to normal, but the accusations disappeared and the tennis player's own statements appear as a discordant note, almost as if it had all been orchestrated by China.
After the WTA, now all sportsmen and tennis fans are waiting for the reaction of the ATP too, with many asking for the same reaction from the male body as well. The women's Tour is now on the covers of media all over the world and the choice of the WTA is receiving a lot of praise.
Waiting for a decision by the ATP, even the number one in the world Novak Djokovic seems to have taken a clear position and made important statements: "The PTPA is always on the side of the tennis players and fully supports the WTA as at the moment we do not have enough information about Peng Shuai and his current well-being.
I see nothing wrong with the request from the WTA to ask for more clarity on what is happening. I think it is important to support everyone, whether these are men or women and regardless of their organization. It is really sad that we are not given any further information on the subject and as a tennis community we must all be on the same side and be all together."
"With the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong." — wta (@WTA) December 1, 2021
Wilander: "There are too many opponents for Roger Federer"
Interviewed by Eurosport, seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander expressed doubts about Roger Federer's chances of coming back to competition.
Wilander said: "I think Roger Federer will return to play on the ATP Tour. He himself confirmed this several times, so it would be a surprise if he didn't. Roger has always listened to his body perfectly, but now everything is more complicated."
"The situation has changed a lot compared to Federer's last full season, that is 2019. Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev have made a further qualitative leap, especially in this second half of 2021. The Swiss has his weapons and experience of him, but I doubt that at 40-41 he will prevail over Zverev or Medvedev.
I don't think Roger will play many games unless he realizes he can still make it to the bottom of the Grand Slams. I think he is curious to find out what he is capable of at 41 years old. Not even Federer knows exactly how things will go, but he loves to get involved."
2021 didn't bring Roger Federer much joy. The former world number 1 has struggled more than expected to recover an acceptable condition, ending up playing just 13 matches since March at Wimbledon. The Swiss phenomenon, who had undergone two knee surgeries in 2020, has collected nine wins and four defeats, a balance that speaks volumes about his current difficulties.
After a clear defeat in the quarter-finals in London, the King announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to operate for the third time in the last 18 months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion removed his crutches a few weeks ago and will be able to start racing again at the beginning of 2022.
To get the racket back in his hand, he will have to wait for spring instead. The 40-year-old from Basel admitted that it will be difficult to see him again on the tour before the summer of 2022, even questioning his presence at Wimbledon.