ANALYSIS: How China Has Reacted To The WTA’s Suspension - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

ANALYSIS: How China Has Reacted To The WTA’s Suspension

News of the suspension has reportedly been censored on social media website Weibo, state-run media outlets have run editorials blasting the west and the Chinese Tennis Association has issued a statement which is nowhere to be seen on its official site.

Published

on

In the aftermath of the WTA announcing that they have suspended all of their tournaments in China and Hong Kong over concerns about the welfare of Peng Shuai there has been a familiar trend from Chinese officials.

 

On Wednesday WTA CEO Steve Simon said the Asian nation has failed to address his organisations concerns about the former world No.1 doubles player who accused a former senior political official of sexual assault in a Weibo Post published on November 2nd. Shuai vanished from the public eye shortly after but returned a couple weeks later with photos and photos of her being uploaded online. Most of which were published by media which is overseen by China’s Communist Party.

One of the first to react to the suspension was Hu Xijin who is the editor-in-chief of the Global Times. The English-language branch of China’s People Daily newspaper which has one of the largest circulations in the world. On Twitter, which is banned in his home country, Xijin claimed the WTA suspension is linked to a western attack on China.

“WTA is coercing Peng Shuai to support the west’s attack on the Chinese system. They are depriving Peng Shuai’s freedom of expression, demanding that her description of her current situation meets their expectation,” he wrote.

The Global Times is known for writing various editorials which is usually from a nationalistic perspective. Since the publication of Shuai’s post, their Chinese branch has not written a single article about the topic. In fact, no top Chinese media outlet has done so with them all being regulated by the government.

Continuing his attack on Simon and the WTA, Xijin claimed that the suspension would not have a significant financial impact on the governing body because those tournaments had a ‘slim chance of being held due to COVID-19.’ A bold prediction considering most of those events will not take place until the second half of 2022. In 2019 nine WTA tournaments in China had a combined prize money pool of more than $30M.

“Steve Simon is boycotting in a high profile manner some events that only had a slim chance of being held due to COVID-19. For one thing, it will not bring additional economic losses to the WTA, for another, it garner attention from western countries for himself and the WTA,” Xijin wrote in another Tweet.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) is the international division of the China Central Television (CCTV), which is owned by the state. They have published just two articles about Shuai this year. One was about her meeting with the IOC that made made no reference to her allegations. The other was an editorial published on Wednesday titled ‘Politicizing sports is a lose-lose policy.’ It was written by American analyst Andrew Korybko who is based in Russia and the website note that the article does not necessarily reflect their view. It is one of the first articles published on a Chinese government-back website that acknowledged Shuai’s post. Although it was minimal to say the very least.

“Peng took some time for herself after her social media post last month, which unexpectedly generated a disproportionate amount of global attention from ill-intended foreign observers. She’s since reappeared in the public eye and even spoken to Olympic officials.” It reads.

As for the Chinese Tennis Association, they have also issued a statement. Although there has been no mention of it on their official website. Instead, it came up via Global Times through their social media sites and on their website. An unsurprising situation considering China has censored Shuai’s allegations. Coincidentally The Global Times said they have exclusively obtained the statement. So exclusive that it wasn’t even published on any Chinese-language website first?

“The Chinese Tennis Association (CTA) expressed its indignation and firm opposition on Thursday to the unilateral decision made by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on Wednesday to suspend tournaments in China, citing so-called concerns about the well-being of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai,” the statement reads.

As for the Chinese government they have stayed largely silent on the issue throughout and nothing has been heard from Zhang Gaoli. The former vice-premier who Shuai accused of sexual abuse. During a press conference foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, responded by saying “We’ve already expressed our view. We’ve always been against behaviours politicising sports.”

As China continues to argue that they are being ill treated by the west, evidence of censorship is still visible. Kerry Allen is a China media analyst for the BBC. After the WTA’s announced the suspension of China, posts on their Weibo account (the main social media network in China) have been restricted. Meaning users could not comment or share them. Something which has happened to Shuai’s account. According to the New York Times, people in China are now using code names in order to talk about Shuai online to avoid being censored by authorities.

In a separate development the IOC confirmed that they had a second meeting with Shuai who they say is “safe and well, given the difficult situation she is in.” The governing body said they have offered her ‘wide-ranging’ support and have already agreed to meet with her in Beijing in January. Just weeks before China holds the Winter Olympic Games.

The IOC statement didn’t mention if their meeting with Shuai was before or after the WTA’s announcement.

Latest news

Felix Auger Aliassime helps Canada reach the Davis Cup Final

Published

on

Canada reached the Davis Cup final for the second time in three years after beating Italy 2-1 in the semifinal in Malaga. 

 

Denis Shapovalov beat Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in the opening match.

Felix Auger Aliassime earned a 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Musetti to draw level to 1-1 before teaming up with Vasek Pospisil to defeat Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 7-5. 

Sonego beats Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

Lorenzo Sonego battled past Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 after 3 hours and 14 minutes to give Italy the 1-0 point in the opening singles match of the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten in Malaga. 

Shapovalov hit five aces, made seven double faults and converted just one of his 13 break points. Sonego fired seven aces, made three double faults and converted one of his four break points. 

Shapovalov won the first nine points of the match to take a 2-0 lead with a break in the opening game. Sonego won three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break-back in the fifth game. Shapovalov saved two break points in the sixth game to hold serve at deuce for 3-3. Sonego fended off two break points in the seventh game for 4-3. Sonego earned two mini-breaks on the second and sixth points to race to a 5-1 lead. Shapovalov clawed his way back by winning three points for 4-5. Sonego earned two mini-breaks to seal the tie-break 7-4, when Shapovalov sent a forehand long after 1 hour and 10 minutes

The second set went on serve until the 10th game, when Shapovalov earned three consecutive set points at 4-5 0-40 on Sonego’s serve. The Italian player saved five set points to hold serve at deuce for 5-5 and sent the second set to the tie-break. 

Sonego won four consecutive points from 1-2 down to take a 5-2 lead in the tie-break. Sonego missed a drive volley to set up a match point. Shapovalov won his fifth consecutive point to seal the second set to send the match to the decider. 

Shapovalov saved two break points in the first game of the third set. The Canadian player made three double faults but he held serve at deuce without facing any break points. Shapovalov saved a break point in the sixth game with an ace. Sonego fended off three break points at 3-3 in the seventh game to hold serve after three deuces before Shapovalov received treatment for a back issue. 

Sonego earned the decisive break in the 10th game to close out the match after Shapovalov made three double faults. 

Sonego has drawn level to 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Shapovalov, who beat the Italian player 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3 in the Rome Masters 1000 tournament. 

“It’s an unbelievable moment for me. Shapovalov fights non-stop. I had to be focused on every point and I needed the help of all my team. This is just a great moment for Italy. It was really tough to remain focused because I lost the tie-break in the second set, but I was really positive and my captain helped me a lot to do my best to stay in the match and I enjoy the match until the last moment for me. It was a really tight match and a big win and a big win. It was an amazing win for me and for my team”, said Sonego. 

Auger Aliassime beats Musetti 6-3 6-4 

In the second singles match Felix Auger Aliassime beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-4 converting a break point late in both sets to send the tie to the decivive doubles clash. Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and won all but three of his first serve points. 

Auger Aliassime earned his first break in the sixth game to open up a 5-2 lead and held his next service games to seal the first set 6-3 with an ace after 39 minutes. 

Musetti held his serve after three deuces to hold serve in the first game of the second set. Both players held serve until 4-4. Musetti saved the first break point in the ninth game with a service winner, but Auger Aliassime converted his second chance with a down the line winner. Musetti went up a 0-30 lead on Auger Aliassime’s serve in the 10th game, but the Canadian player hit three service winners to serve out the match 6-4 keeping Canada’s hopes of reaching the final alive. 

Auger Aliassime now leads 3-2 in his five head-to-head matches against Musetti. 

“It’s sad, because it’s the second time in a row that I have the chance to bring Italy to the final. I played until the last point, and Felix played better than me. he deserved to win”, said Musetti. 

Canada beats Italy 7-6 (7-5) 7-2

Canadian captain Frank Dancevic made a late change to the doubles line-up, calling up Auger Aliassime to team up with Vasek Pospisil. 

Berrettini and Fognini converted their second break point in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. Auger Aliassime and Pospisil broke back on their third opportunity in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both teams went on serve setting up a tie-break. Auger Aliassime earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Berrettini and Fognini went up a break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Auger Aliassime and Pospisil broke back in the third game after two double faults from Fognini to draw level to 2-2. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Auger Aliassime and Pospisil earned the decisive break on their third opportunity to take a 6-5 lead. The Italian team wasted two break-back points at 5-6 in the 12thgame.  Auger Aliassime delivered two first serves to get to deuce with an ace and a winner and won the final four points to secure their spot in the final. 

Felix Auger Aliassime: “That’s the good thing about having many good players on the team. I feel like Denis and Vasek played really well yesterday to come back and win, but Denis had a long match, and we knew coming this week that we could make some changes depending on how singles went. I feel like the whole team connected around this idea and there was no ego in the wrong place. Everybody just has the clear idea of the main goal, which is lifting the cup tomorrow”. 

Canada improved their lead against Italy to 3-0 in the three head-to-head matches after wins in 2013 and 2019. 

Canada is one win away from a historic first Davis Cup title.  

Canada set up a final against Australia, who reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in 19 years after a 2-1 win over Croatia on Friday. 

Australia holds a 9-1 lead against Canada. Howevr the Canadian team earned a win in their last match at the 2019 Davis Cup match. 

Auger Aliassime and Shapovalov lost to Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger Aliassime in the Davis Cup final in Madrid in 2019. 

“Making the finals is always an amazing feeling, and I really believe in the team. We have done it before. We are here again and I believe we can win this, so we are going to go after it tomorrow and give it all we have got”, said Frank Dancevic.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Australia fights back from losing the first match to reach the Davis Cup final

Published

on

Australia fought back from losing the first singles match to beat Croatia 2-1 reaching its first Davis Cup in 19 years. 

 

Alex De Minaur cruised past Marin Cilic 6-2 6-2 in just 44 minutes to send the semifinal to decisive doubles match. Cilic made 10 double faults, as De Minaur broke four times to draw level to 2-2 in his head-to-head matches. De Minaur has improved his Davis Cup hard-court singles record to 10-1 in the Davis Cup. 

“This is what this team is about, that never say-die attitude. I have had a couple of instances when I have been in this position and I feel like my back is against the wall, and there is only a wall to break through, and that’s going forward steam ahead and just going after every single point. My job was to keep us alive, and I am happy to do anything I can do for my country”, said De Minaur. 

Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell came back from one set down to beat Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 6-4. Thompson and Purcell broke twice and never dropped a service game to come back from losing the first-set tie-break. 

The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Mektic and Pavic earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Thompson and Purcell broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and held serve in the 12th game to force the match to the decider. The Australian team broke again in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held their next two service games to close out the third set 6-4. 

Australia won its 28th and last title in 2003. 

“I am so proud. Australia has a rich history in this competition. We have been fortunate to win it all on a number of occasions. I know what it meant to me as a player to play a final, and I am glad these guys can play it”, said Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt. 

Australia will face either Italy or Canada in the final. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Borna Coric beats Thanasi Kokkinakis to give Croatia a 1-0 lead against Australia in Davis Cup semifinal in Malaga

Published

on

Borna Coric beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 32 minutes with a break in each set to give Croatia a 1-0 lead over Australia in the first match of the semifinal of the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Malaga. 

 

Coric hit 19 winners to just 9 unforced errors. 

Kokkinakis saved a break point in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. The Croatian player converted his third break point at deuce in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4. 

Coric faced the only break point at the second set and earned the only break in the sixth game to seal the win 6-4 6-3. 

“This means a lot to me. I was watching the guys playing Davis Cup when I was injured and doing my rehab. To play for Croatia is an amazing feeling for me. I was turning to my coach in the first set and saying: ‘I don’t know what to do against his serve’, but I started to read it later on, and thankfully I was serving well myself. When I was younger, I did not serve so well and I needed to improve it. After my shoulder injury I did not know whether I would be able to serve again at all, but I did so much work on it that I serve even better now then I used to”, said Coric.

Alex De Minaur will face 2018 Davis Cup champion Marin Cilic. In their previous head-to-head matches Cilic leads 2-1 over De Minaur and beat the Australian player 6-1 5-7 6-4 in the Group Stage of the Davis Cup finals. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending