Peng Shuai news: Reilly Opelka slams ATP’s weak stance on China

Spectators out in numbers wearing Peng Shuai T-shirts during the Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis doubles match.
Fans excited to be back at the stadium in support on Peng Shuai.

American Reilly Opelka has voiced his displeasure at the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) going ahead with future tournaments in China despite the Peng Shuai scandal.

There have been no concrete developments surrounding Peng Shuai, who has said in tightly controlled interviews that she is at home with family in Beijing.

Journalists have not been able to satisfactorily establish the precise whereabouts of the Peng, although the International Olympic Council have accepted the official version of events put forward by Chinese authorities.

The tennis star went missing shortly after speaking out against a high-ranking party official, before resurfacing at public events in clearly staged appearances.

While the WTA has pulled its events from China in protest over her treatment, the men’s tour has not followed suit.

“One day ATP wants to merge with WTA and the next [thing you know], we are playing a full schedule in China,” Opelka tweeted alongside a shrugging emoji.

Peng intimated that she was retired in an interview with L’Equipe conducted in the presence of a Chinese official earlier this year.

“Considering my age, my multiple surgeries and the pandemic that forced me to stop for so long, I believe it will be very difficult to regain my physical level,” she told L’Equipe.

The WTA have called for a complete and transparent investigation into the initial allegations made by Peng and her subsequent treatment.

“We have called for a formal investigation into the allegations by the appropriate authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng – privately – to discuss her situation,” said the body’s chief executive, Steve Simon in February 2022.

IOC President Thomas Bach reportedly had dinner with Peng in February and vouched for her safety, however his organisation continues to take criticism from some rights groups for failing to address China’s human rights record in the lead up to and during the Winter Games in Beijing.