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Roger Federer voices concern over Peng Shuai's safety, says the entire tennis community is "united" on the issue

Roger Federer voiced his concern for Peng Shuai in his latest interview.
Roger Federer voiced his concern for Peng Shuai in his latest interview.
ANALYST

Roger Federer has become the latest high-profile tennis personality to come forward in expressing concern over the safety and well-being of China's Peng Shuai.

Peng, a former doubles No. 1, has been facing censorship in China after accusing the country's former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual abuse. The Chinese player has not made any public appearances since she first came forward with her ordeal in a now-deleted Weibo post.

In an interview with Sky Italy, Federer joined the chorus of concern for the Chinese player. The Swiss champion said the tennis fraternity was "united" in their support for Peng, before expressing hope that she was safe.

Federer added that having been on the tour for over two decades, he has developed affection for players on both the men's and women's tour.

"I hope she's fine," Federer said. "We are all united around her. The tennis tour is my second family. I have been on the pro tour for 20-25 years so I am connected to every ATP and WTA player."
Peng Shuai has not made any public appearances since coming forward with her allegations.
Peng Shuai has not made any public appearances since coming forward with her allegations.

Federer's comments came a few hours after his longtime on-court rival Rafael Nadal also expressed similar concerns.

Organizers of the Wimbledon Championships, where Peng is a former doubles champion, also released an official statement.

"We are united with the rest of tennis in the need to understand that Peng Shuai is safe," the statement read. "We have been working in support of the WTA’s efforts to establish her safety through our relationships behind the scenes."
"Along with the global tennis community," it continued, "We would like Peng Shuai to know that her well-being is of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to work to gain clarity on her safety."

#WhereIsPengShuai hashtag crosses 3.2 million mark on social media

The hashtag has turned into an online movement over the last few days.
The hashtag has turned into an online movement over the last few days.

Meanwhile, support for Peng continued to grow on social media. The #WhereIsPengShuai hashtag that started out as a call for answers on the Chinese player's whereabouts has now been used more than 3.2 million times.

France's Alize Cornet was one of the first active players to have shared a post with the now-trending hashtag, and a huge wave of players have followed suit since.

Some of the most prominent names to have shared posts using the #WhereIsPengShuai hashtag include Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Ons Jabeur, and Nicholas Mahut.

The number of tennis players sharing the #WhereIsPengShuai hashtag is growing quickly today, including from the ATP side.Heartening to see so many in tennis willing to put concern for Peng Shuai’s well being over cynical business interests. A model for other sports re: China. https://t.co/Z3zVACBZyC

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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