'Peng Shuai case must be investigated'- Serena Williams speaks on Chinese tennis star who disappeared after making sexual allegations against top government official


Serena Williams, a tennis legend, has reacted to the disappearance of top tennis player Peng Shuai, who has gone missing since making sexual assault charges against a prominent Chinese government official two weeks ago.

She said she was "forced" into a sexual connection with Zhang Gaoli, a former vice-premier of China.

On November 3, the claims were made in a post on the Chinese social media site Weibo, which was quickly removed from China's internet.

It's the first time an accusation like this has been leveled against one of China's most powerful politicians, Premier Zhang Gaoli.

Peng, 35, is a former world number one doubles player and reached 14th in the singles rankings in 2011.

Chinese state media released an email attributed to Peng, but the World Tennis Association has cast doubt about its authenticity.


Serena Williams now says the case of Chinese player Peng Shuai "must be investigated" and urged people "not to stay silent" about her welfare.

"I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news," said Williams, who is a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion.


"This must be investigated and we must not stay silent. I hope she is safe and found as soon possible.

"Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time."

Peng deserved "to be heard, not censored," according to Steve Simon, chairman of the Women's Tennis Association.

Williams isn't the only tennis player who has expressed concern about Peng's condition.

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, a four-time major winner from Japan, have both spoken out in support of her.


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