Chinese Tennis Star, Zheng Qinwen, Emerges During French Open

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PARIS — To keep things simpler for her Mandarin-challenged Western friends, the rising Chinese tennis star Zheng Qinwen often goes by the nickname Ana. But if you watch the teenage Zheng hit a forehand, a serve or just about any shot on a tennis court, her first English-language nickname seems more appropriate. “At the real beginning at IMG, they called me Fire,” she said in an interview at the French Open on Friday, referring to her management company, IMG. There is indeed plenty of power and passion in Zheng’s game,…

Your Friday Evening Briefing

(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.) Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday. 1. Sanctions hit President Vladimir Putin’s former wife and his rumored girlfriend. Britain added Putin’s former wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, and the woman long considered to be his mistress, Alina Kabaeva, to its sanctions list as the West deepened its efforts to combat Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A former K.G.B. operative, Putin has kept his personal life shrouded in secrecy, but the sanctions are lifting that veil. On the battlefields,…

Strong Stance on China and Peng Shuai Helps Land WTA a New Title Sponsor

The WTA has been an outlier in its approach to China. The ATP, which operates the men’s tennis tour, has not suspended its Chinese tournaments, and other professional leagues, including the N.B.A., have been reticent to confront Chinese authorities directly. Peng has reappeared in recent weeks and given some controlled interviews, claiming that she deleted the social media post herself and that she had been misunderstood and had not made sexual assault allegations. But the WTA, still lacking direct contact with Peng, has maintained its position. “We’ve been watching very…

Where Is Peng Shuai? Tennis Players and Fans Still Want to Know

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But Chinese television did not broadcast the women’s tournaments in 2022 that were played ahead of the Open despite owning the rights. It is unclear whether this constitutes a boycott. In 2019, CCTV stopped airing N.B.A. games after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets at the time, expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. No events for the WTA or ATP, the professional men’s tennis tour, have been held in China since early 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which had shut down international sports events…

Peng Shuai appearance fails to address concerns for her wellbeing, says WTA

The Women’s Tennis Association has reiterated its call for an investigation into the welfare of Peng Shuai and said a public appearance by the Chinese star on Sunday still did not address its concerns about her wellbeing. On Sunday Peng said a message she had posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, in early November in which she accused the former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault had been “misunderstood”. “First, I need to stress one point that is extremely important: I have never said or written that anyone has sexually…

Peng Shuai, Chinese Tennis Player, Denies Sexual Assault Claim

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Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis star whose account of sexual coercion by a former Communist Party leader ignited weeks of tensions and galvanized calls for boycotts of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, has reversed her assertion that she had been sexually assaulted by the official. Ms. Peng made the comments in an interview that was published on Sunday by a Singaporean newspaper. But the retraction appeared unlikely to extinguish concerns about her well-being and suspicions that she had been the target of well-honed pressure techniques and a propaganda campaign by…

Peng Shuai retracts sexual assault claims as fears over wellbeing persist

The Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has denied that she had accused a former senior official of having sexually assaulted her, in what is believed to be the first foreign press interview since her November essay caused a media storm. “I wanted to make this very clear: I have never claimed, or written about anyone having sexually assaulted me,” Peng said. “With regards to Weibo, it’s about my personal privacy … There’s been a lot of misunderstanding … There [should be] no distorted interpretation.” The claim apparently contradicted a 2…

The Censoring of Peng Shuai

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Matthew Futterman contributed reporting. The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens and Rowan…

WTA does the right thing in standing up to China over Peng Shuai | Barney Ronay

When the Russian tanks roll westward, what defence for you and me? Colonel Sloman’s Essex Rifles? Or the 66-year-old chairman of the WTA? Well, there’s an unusual thing. It turns out there is at least one body in sport, and indeed in public life, with the guts, the spleen, the fuzzy green balls to make a stand in the face of power and basic questions of right and wrong. It isn’t clear what the full implications might be of the decision by the Women’s Tennis Association to suspend its activities…

How WTA Chief Steve Simon Took on China Over Peng Shuai

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Simon’s refusal to accept China’s authoritarian stance on human rights once it directly affected one of his players stands in stark contrast to several high-profile leaders in sports who have repeatedly bent to the desires of the Chinese, including Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee. Simon has been concerned about Peng’s physical safety but also believed, as did the members of his player council and others he communicates with regularly in a player chat group, that the silencing of…

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