Naomi Osaka says she is “in shock” over the current situation surrounding Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.
Shuai, 35, accused 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli, a former senior Chinese official, of alleged sexual coercion in a post uploaded to Chinese microblogging website Weibo earlier this month.
The post was soon deleted along with all of the player's content on the website.
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There have been concerns from the global tennis community for Shuai as she has not been seen since the post.
Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka wrote on Twitter: “Hey everyone, not sure if you’ve been following the news but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused. Censorship is never OK at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and OK. I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way. #whereispengshuai.”
Men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic also spoke about Shuai at the ATP Finals in Turin.
“I don't have much information about it. I did hear about it a week ago. Honestly, it's shocking that she's missing, more so that it's someone that I have seen on the tour in the previous years quite a few times.
"It's not much more to say than hope that she will be found, that she's OK. It's just terrible. I can imagine just how her family feels that she's missing."
WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement: "Peng Shuai, and all women, deserve to be heard, not censored.
"Her accusation about the conduct of a former Chinese leader involving a sexual assault must be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
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