Roger Federer US Open 2019

‘The tennis family sticks together’ – Roger Federer voices concerns over Peng Shuai

20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has added his voice to the growing list of players calling for clarity regarding Peng Shuai’s safety.

Chinese doubles player Peng Shuai accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into a sexual relationship.

She made the allegations through Chinese social media website Weibo, but her post was deleted within just 20 minutes as were relevant keywords, such as ‘tennis’, and other discussion posts.

Over the past week, an email reportedly from Peng Shuai herself which said her claims were false and that she was safe was released through Chinese state media outlet CGTN, although this only raised concerns further.

Moreover, photos and video footage of Peng Shuai has started to be released on Twitter through China state-affiliated journalists.

Firstly, images of Peng in her home playing with toys and a grey cat were released, then videos of Peng at a restaurant and a tennis event in Beijing were shared.

The whole tennis community has united to gain clarity regarding Peng Shuai’s well-being with a number of tennis stars, including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Naomi Osaka, as well as many others, sharing their support for Peng via social media.

Former World number one Roger Federer has also shared his support for the French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion, saying in an interview with Sky Italia “I hope she is safe. We are all united around her.

“She’s one of our tennis champions, a former world number one, and clearly it’s concerning.

“I hope she’s safe. The tennis family sticks together and I’ve always told my children as well that the tennis family is my second family.

“I’ve been on tour for 20 to 25 years and I love the tour, I love the people that are there, [they] are special, the players as well, and she’s one of them.”

“I’ve been in touch with [ATP Tour] president Andrea Gaudenzi as well the last days, just to get any news, any feedback of the developing story.

“I just want her to be okay and that she’s safe and that we hear something hopefully soon.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.