Australian Open 2022: Peng Shuai news

Tennis

Four-time singles major champion Naomi Osaka has called for “more information” to be gathered over the Peng Shuai mystery but praised the WTA over its handling of the situation.

Osaka defeated Colombian Camila Osorio in the first round of the Australian Open and was then asked for her views on the Peng saga.

Peng, a former Wimbledon and Roland-Garros doubles champion, alleged on social media in November that former Chinese vice-premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.

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Peng’s online post was deleted and her claims censored, before she disappeared from public view.

The 36-year-old then reappeared three weeks later, but fears remain over how much freedom Peng really has.

The WTA was widely applauded last month when it suspended tournaments in China, citing “serious doubts” over Peng’s safety.

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“Yeah, for me, I haven’t heard any news. I’m not sure if that’s concerning or not,” Osaka said after her opening-round Australian Open win.

“But I think the WTA, the whole organisation, they handled it really well. I’m really proud of them.

“I don’t know. I feel like it’s a situation where we need more information, which is definitely really hard. Kind of I think everyone is waiting.”

Osaka will meet American Madison Brengle in the second round of the Australian Open.

The former world No.1 is headed for a fourth-round showdown with Australian top seed Ash Barty.

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