WTA chief expresses concerns over security after China women’s tennis star robbed

Hours after state media reported that two men broke into the home of China’s top women’s tennis player Peng Shuai and robbed her home, WTA chief Steve Simon said he has reached out to…

WTA chief expresses concerns over security after China women’s tennis star robbed

Hours after state media reported that two men broke into the home of China’s top women’s tennis player Peng Shuai and robbed her home, WTA chief Steve Simon said he has reached out to Peng to discuss concerns over her safety.

The robbery has put a spotlight on China’s women’s tennis team, whose players are closely watched by state officials following an embarrassing ranking fall this year.

“Our biggest concern is the safety of our players,” Simon told a news conference in Portland, Oregon, Monday. “You have to accept that that’s an occupational hazard.”

“We’ve spoken to [Peng], and we’ve asked her, was this a robbery of property or an attempted murder? And she said it was an attempted murder,” Simon said.

Chinese officials have said that the thieves left behind cellphone, iPad, and a pair of sunglasses belonging to the 28-year-old Chinese tennis star.

Chinese police said they are investigating two men, 18 and 19, who were taken into custody and later released.

Peng is reportedly in a strained relationship with China’s Communist Party authorities. In 2016, her coach Pan Tian Feng told the Chinese news outlet Sixth Tone: “The government forces us to play, and we play, and that’s difficult because they don’t give us enough liberty. That’s difficult.”

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