Man Claiming To Be ‘Long-Time Friend’ Of Peng Shuai Accuses The WTA Of Ignoring Her - UBITENNIS
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Man Claiming To Be ‘Long-Time Friend’ Of Peng Shuai Accuses The WTA Of Ignoring Her

Ding Li has spoken to the BBC and made a series of allegations against the WTA.

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The WTA hasn’t responded to an email allegedly sent by Peng Shuai saying that she doesn’t want to be disturbed, according to a senior executive of Global D-Sports.

Ding Li has posted what he claims is a screenshot of Shuai’s email which was sent to the WTA on Twitter. In the tweet he tagged in multiple tennis governing bodies, as well as two accounts belonging to the International Olympic Committee. Little is known about Li but he claims to be a ‘long-time friend’ of the tennis star. The company he works for operates the Tianyancha app which organizes sport events and manages athletes. On November 20th he posted a video of Shuai in a restaurant which he also attended in Beijing.

There has been concern about Shuai‘s safely since a post appeared on her Weibo account accusing a former Chinese official, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual abuse. The post was deleted shortly after and there were fears Shuai had disappeared. She has since been shown in photos and videos uploaded by Chinese media which is overseen by the country’s government. The International Olympic Committee also held a video call with her on Sunday but the WTA said they still have their concerns. The IOC press release made no reference about the sexual allegations which was made.

According to Ding, Shuai’s purported email asked the WTA not to ‘hype up’ her personal affairs. This is the second time a copy of an email said to be written by Shuai has been leaked online. The first was published by CGTN which is the international branch of China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV.

“At the moment I do not want to be disturbed, and especially [can you] not hype up my personal affairs. I hope to live quietly. Thank you again for your concern.” A translation of the latest email reads.

The BBC contacted Ding following his latest post on Twitter. During an interview, he accused WTA boss Steve Simon of ‘bothering’ Shuai and claimed he gave her contact details to multiple tennis players, as well as media outlets. According to Ding this is ‘a very big factor’ as to why Shuai hasn’t spoken to Simon.

Interestingly Ding’s accusations came a couple hours after IOC member Dick Pound made similar comments during an interview with CNN. Pound warned that threatening China with Economic sanctions will not work and the recent IOC video call found no evidence that Shuai was being censored by the authorities. Although he later admitted to CNN that he hasn’t seen the video himself.

The ATP (he was meant to say WTA) has its own views. I don’t think they have been paying much attention to what has been happening in Basketball and football in threatening (the) Chinese with economic sanctions It’s not going to work and part of the proof of the pudding was that they were not able to get in touch with her (Shuai) and that’s her sport. Maybe she didn’t like the attitude they were showing?.” Pound commented.

Ding was asked by the BBC if they could speak with Shuai in order to verify his claims but he replied ‘“she only wishes to have a good rest alone in her own home.” Although he says there is “absolutely no supervision nor pressure, and there was definitely no punishment”.

However, when it comes to the allegations of sexual assault Ding says there is no investigation into Gaoli as her alleged emails ‘showed there was no signs of sexual assault.’ Even though it was clearly stated in her Weibo post. China has censored Shuai’s allegations and it has not been reported by any of the country’s newspapers which operate under government rule.

The WTA has threatened to pull their tournaments in China if their concerns about Shuai aren’t resolved.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister

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Image via x.com/twitter

The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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