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




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.

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Another Defeat For Iga Swiatek – Should Her Fans Start To Worry?

Iga Swiatek unexpectedly lost to Beatrice Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open in Toronto. This was the third defeat of the WTA world No.1 in a month and a half. Is there anything to worry about?





Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Article written by Dominik Senkowski (@dsenkowski07)


It was an extremely close match played in difficult conditions. Swiatek lost to Beatrice Hadad Maia 4:6, 6:3, 5:7 in Toronto.

The Polish woman admitted that she could not deal with the strong wind, saying during her press conference “I think without the wind I would manage. But it was pretty crazy out there.”

Haddad Miai, who is the first Brazilian to reach the last eight of a WTA 1000 event, revealed that she also had problems with the weather.

”We have no influence on the weather, we have to deal with it somehow. I think mentally I managed to overcome it,” she said.

Three failures

This was the third defeat for Swiatek in a month and a half. She had been undefeated since February, winning six tournaments in a row, including a Roland Garros. After that, however, she did not reach the semi-finals even once. In Wimbledon she was eliminated in the third round by Alize Cornet and then in Warsaw in the quarter-finals by Caroline Garcia. Now she did not make it past Beatrice Hadad Maia in Toronto. Do fans of the Polish woman have anything to worry about?

Of course, Swiatek as the top seed should have played better against the Brazilian. However, it must be remembered that she is still only 21 years old and has the right to fluctuate in form. Even the best tennis players of recent years – Roger Federer, Serena Serena, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic – did not win all the games in their best time. Swiatek still has a phenomenal balance of 49 wins to 5 defeats this year. She is the undisputed leader of the WTA rankings and will probably end the year as number one in the world.

There is no doubt that the rivals are more motivated to clash with Iga. In addition, they increasingly believe that they are able to defeat her since Cornet, Garcia and Hadad Maia did it. But still, it all depends on Iga. If she improves her serve, she can be unstoppable again. Recently with Garcia and Hadad Maia, she had problems with the second serve. She must pay more attention to it.

Time for Iga

Time should play in favour of Swiatek. Before Toronto, she played exceptionally on clay courts in Warsaw in a tournament organized by her father Tomasz. Frequent changes of the surface from grass to clay and hard courts in 1.5 months are not easy at such a young age. In Poland Iga said that she had no experience with it, she was just learning. She continues to learn valuable lessons and still can be better. We should remember it.

It seems that in the coming days she will be training on hard courts. She could feel more confident and come stronger as in spring. In Warsaw Iga said that she treats the first tournament before the US Open swing less seriously. She was aware that she needed more playing time to get better results. Her increasing self-esteem makes her behave calmer, even after defeats. That is why she can return to the right path soon.

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Rafael Nadal Returns To Cincinnati With Shot At No.1 Ranking

This is what the king of clay has to do to reclaim the top position.





It has been over a month since Rafael Nadal last played a match on the Tour but in the coming days, he will have a chance to return to the top of the ATP rankings.


The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been absent from action ever since pulling out of his semi-final match at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear. He was set to play at this week’s National Bank Open in Montreal but withdrew after feeling a ‘slight bother’ in his abdominal region following training. Nadal decided not to play after consulting with his doctor.

Instead, the Spaniard will return next week at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. He confirmed his return in an Instagram post, where he wrote: “Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow (Thursday).”

Whilst the Spaniard will be finding his feet in the coming days, in Cincinnati he has a chance to dethrone Daniil Medvedev from the world No.1 position. Medvedev lost his opening match in Montreal to Nick Kyrgios. To do this he would need to win the Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career and hope that Medvedev doesn’t make the quarter-finals. Nadal won Cincinnati back in 2013 after defeating John Isner in the final.

So far in his career, Nadal has spent 209 weeks as world No.1 with his longest streak being 56 weeks in a row (2010-2011). In total, he has been at the top of the rankings for eight separate periods and last held the position in February 2020.

Nadal’s No.1 stints
-Aug 18 2008 – Jul 5th 2009 (46 weeks)
-Jun 7 2010 – Jul 3rd 2011 (56 weeks)
-Oct 7th 2013 – Jul 6th 2014 (39 weeks)
-Aug 21 2017 – Feb 18 2018 (26 weeks)
-Apr 2nd 2018 – May 13th 2018 (6 weeks)
-May 21st 2018 – Jun 17th 2018 (4 weeks)
-Jun 25th 2018 – Nov 4th 2018 (19 weeks)
-Nov 4th 2019 – Feb 2nd 2020 (13 weeks)

At present nine out of the world’s top 10 players will participate in the Western and Southern Open. The only exception is Novak Djokovic who is currently banned from entering America because he isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Jack Draper Considered Skipping Montreal Masters Before Getting Biggest Win Of Career

The rising star completes a trio of British players who have booked their places in the third round of the Masters 1000 event.




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British qualifier Jack Draper says his decision to play in Montreal this week has paid off after he scored his first-ever win over a top 10 player on Wednesday.


The 20-year-old stunned world No.5 and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-6(4), in what is only his fourth appearance in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event. Draper, who is currently ranked 82nd in the world, won 74% of his first service points and blasted 21 winners past his Greek rival. Recovering from a 1-3 deficit in the second set en route to a straight sets victory.

Leading up to this week, Draper and his team considered not playing in Montreal following his 6-4, 6-2, loss to Andrey Rublev in Washington. However, their decision to do so was the right one. After coming through two rounds of qualifying, he beat France’s Hugo Gaston in the first round before knocking out Tsitsipas.

“This is why I put in all the hard work, for nights like this on stages like this,” Draper said in an on-court interview. “Last week [after] Washington, me and my coach probably were thinking we weren’t even going to come here. We were going to maybe train a week, get a bit of confidence. But it paid off coming.”
“I didn’t really have much of a game plan. I just thought I needed to play good tennis to beat Stefanos. He’s at the top of the game for a reason. [He’s] someone I’ve looked up to the last few years. It’s just good to be out here and try to express myself on this stage.” He added.

Draper’s win comes during what has been a solid season for the Brit who has won four Challenger titles. A former top 10 junior player, he won his first main draw Grand Slam match in June at Wimbledon and reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

Awaiting the youngster in the third round will be French veteran Gael Monfils who is playing in his first tournament since May. Monfils defeated Maxime Cressy 7-6(10), 7-6(8).

Draper is one of three British players to have reached the last 16 in Montreal. Ninth seed Cameron Norrie will next play home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans faces Taylor Fritz.

According to the Pepperstone live ATP rankings, Draper will break into the world’s top 70 for the first time next week.

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