Washington [US], November 19 (ANI): Twenty-three time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams said she is “devastated and shocked” to hear about the news of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.
Peng, 35, a doubles champion at Wimbledon and the French Open, accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault according to screenshots of a since-deleted Weibo post dated November 2. Notably, Peng has not been heard from since alleging against the Chinese politician.
Serena, the American tennis star, hoped Peng is safe and found as soon as possible and called for an investigation into the matter.
“I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai. I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. This must be investigated and we must not stay silent. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time. #whereispengshuai,” Serena Williams tweeted.
However, state-run CGTN on Wednesday published a screenshot on Twitter of what it said was an email written by Peng to Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Chairman and CEO, Steve Simon and other WTA officials.
In the email, Peng purportedly claims that her earlier accusations of sexual abuse are “not true” and says she is “resting at home and everything is fine.”
Steve Simon in a statement then said that he had a “hard time believing” the email was written by Peng.
Peng has won many doubles titles, including at Wimbledon in 2013. Zhang was a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee until 2017. (ANI)