WTA Threatens to Cease China Operations

    • WTA CEO Steve Simon has said that the organization is willing to cease operations in China.
    • The comments come in response to the disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai.

Today's Action

All times are EST unless otherwise noted. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/ for details.

Women’s Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon said the organization is willing to cease operations in China in response to the disappearance of tennis player Peng Shuai.

Peng, 35, disappeared shortly after she accused 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli, a former high-ranking official in the Chinese Communist Party, of sexual assault on a social media site. The post, recounting the pair’s decade-long affair, was quickly taken down.

“We’re definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it,” Simon said. “Because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.”

  • The WTA struck a 10-year deal starting in 2018 to host its year-end finals in China.
  • Simon previously stated that the deal held a roughly $1 billion investment from China, assisting the organization in building popularity of women’s tennis including a new stadium and more prize money.
  • The WTA is set to hold 10 tournaments in the country next year.

Over the weekend, China released photos and videos where Peng, who won doubles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014, appeared to be safe, though the WTA isn’t necessarily buying it.

“It was good to see Peng Shuai in recent videos, but they don’t alleviate or address the WTA’s concern about her wellbeing and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion,” a WTA spokesperson told Reuters.

The IOC announced Sunday that Peng held a 30-minute video call with three of its officials regarding her safety and wishes to remain private about the ordeal.