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New video claims to show missing tennis star Peng Shuai during tournament in China




Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai signs big tennis balls during the opening ceremony of Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Final in Beijing (via REUTERS)

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai signs big tennis balls during the opening ceremony of Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Final in Beijing (via REUTERS)

Chinese athlete Peng Shuai participated in a tennis tournament in Beijing this weekend, according to images published by state media.

A video has been circulating showing her standing next to the guests during the Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Finals on Saturday.

Peng, the former Wimbledon double champion, hadn’t been seen or heard from since she claimed former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.

Hu Xijin, editor of the Chinese state-affiliated Global Times, shared a clip on Twitter that appears to show the missing tennis star at a tennis tournament.

Along with the video, Xijin tweeted the caption: Peng Shuai appeared on Sunday morning at the opening ceremony of a teen tennis match final in Beijing. Global Times photo reporter Cui Meng captured her at the scene.

The video shows Peng smiling as she waves to a crowd alongside tennis officials.

State-affiliated media outlets in China also released a video on Saturday showing Peng in a restaurant.

Womens Tennis Association (WTA) president Steve Simon has labeled the video “inadequate”.

Simon has threatened to take the WTA out of the lucrative Chinese leg of his tour next season unless it is proven that Peng is safe, and he reiterated that his relationship with China is “at a crossroads”.

“I am pleased to see the videos released by Chinese state media that appear to show Peng Shuai in a Beijing restaurant,” Simon said in a WTA statement.

“While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear whether she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or outside interference. This video alone is not enough.

“As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about the health and safety of Peng Shuai and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug.

“I’ve been clear about what needs to be done and our relationship with China is at a crossroads.”

Wimbledons organizers joined calls on Saturday to confirm Pengs’ well-being.

A statement said: “We are united with the rest of tennis in the need to understand that Peng Shuai is safe. We have worked to support the WTA’s efforts to ensure its safety through our behind-the-scenes relationships.

“Together with the global tennis community, we want Peng Shuai to know that her well-being is of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to work to clarify her safety.”

Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal added their voices to the many tennis stars in the game who have heightened the concerns of the WTA.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Federer said: “She is one of our tennis champions, former number one in the world, and it is clear that it is worrying. I hope she is safe. The tennis family stays together and I have my children always told that the tennis family is my second family.”

Nadal added in an interview with the French newspaper LEquipe: “I follow the news and read the articles about Peng Shuai. Even though I don’t have all the information, the important thing here is to know if she is okay. The tennis family hopes her soon see us again.”

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