Peng Shuai is back to talking. The Chinese tennis player had been at the center of the news in November 2021, when she had disappeared, physically and from all Chinese social networks. The concern was great, especially since the former number one in the world had denounced the former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, a former senior official of the Chinese Communist Party, for violence.
Shuai's first appearance took place on Chinese state TV, where an email she wrote was read. The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, believed little about the veracity of this communication, which is why he personally contacted the tennis player, that she declared that she was fine and that she wanted her privacy to be respected.
Taking advantage of the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the French sports newspaper L'Équipe managed to interview Peng Shuai. During the interview, however, the Chinese sportswoman was escorted by Wang Kan, head of the Chinese Olympic Committee.
Peng Shuai: "why such concern?"
"First of all I would like to thank the ATP and WTA players, all the athletes and personalities in large numbers who have cared about me,” said Peng Shuai, who added: "But I didn't think there would be such a concern and I would like to know: why such a concern?" This is the beginning of the interview with the tennis player, winner of two Grand Slam titles in doubles, who emphasized that she did not want to cause such a media hype.
From the interview given to the French newspaper and taken up by Open, it is clear that the accusations made by Peng Shuai against Zhang Gaoli have been retracted: "I never said someone sexually assaulted me in any way."
The reporter from the team, however, reiterated that she had published a post on social media where she denounced the violence suffered, and then later deleted it. Asked why the post was canceled, Peng Shuai replied: “Because I wanted to do it.
There has been a huge misunderstanding in the outside world following this post. I don't want the meaning of this post to be more distorted and I don't want there to be further media hype around it." As he had asked a few months ago, the president of the Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, met Peng at the start of the Winter Olympic Games in China: "We had dinner together on Saturday and had a nice discussion and an exchange of views."
Said Peng Shuai, who later revealed that he wanted to retire from the sport: "She asked me if I'm thinking of competing again, what my plans are, what I'm going to do and more," concluded the US Open semifinalist.