Peng Shuai US Open 2014

Maria Sharapova ‘incredibly impressed’ with WTA as Peng Shuai saga continues

It was so positive to see WTA CEO Steve Simon step up in response to the Peng Shuai situation according to the five-time Slam champ.

Five weeks have now passed since Peng Shuai made accusations of sexual assault against former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli on Weibo on 2nd November.

And still, the IOC remains the only organisation outside of China that have been able to make direct contact with the two-time Major doubles winner.

Now Maria Sharapova, a contemporary of Shuai when the Russian was still active, has spoken up in support of the WTA’s stance moving forward.

“She was a colleague and a rival of mine,” Sharapova told CNBC.ย “I obviously hope and pray that she and her family are safe and well.

“I’ve actually been incredibly impressed by how the the WTA has stood up and taken a stance.

“It was an organisation that I’d been a part of for many years, so seeing Steve Simon do the right thing has been wonderful.”

In a bombshell statement, Simon announced that for the foreseeable future and until they are satisfied that Chinese officials have addressed the accusations of Peng Shuai with the proper attention and respect, all WTA events in China and Hong Kong are suspended.

“I think of people before I think of business,” Sharapova continued, echoing the moral over financial stance taken by the WTA.

“I think of the human element and the human aspect. That’s why I’m in complete support of the tour.”

Sharapova and Shuai played each other seven times over their careers, most recently at the Tianjin Open in China in 2017.

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