Peng Shuai is a former Chinese professional tennis player. She was the first Chinese tennis player to be ranked number one in either singles or doubles. In 2014, the Women's Tennis Association ranked Peng Shuai as the number one doubles player.
Peng Shuai Early Years
Peng was born in Xiangtan, China, on January 8, 1986. At age 8 her uncle, a tennis coach, taught her how to play. She had to stop playing tennis when she was 13. She had to go to the hospital and have surgery to fix a problem with her heart.
In 1999 after she healed from the surgery, she went to Tianjin to participate in a state-run training program. The program was made to train and make athletes who could compete internationally.
Peng Shuai Career
At Baotou, Peng won her first singles title when she was 15. She played her first match on the Women's Tennis Association Tour as a wild card in Shanghai the same year. She won a lot of small singles titles over the next three years.
By 2004, she had moved up to number 107 on the WTA rankings and was able to play in the main draw of her first Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon, where she lost. At the end of 2004, she was ranked 74th. By 2005, Peng made the controversial decision to “fly solo” and stop giving the Chinese state training program half of her tournament earnings.
She could do this by saying she wouldn't play if the state didn't let her play more on her own.
At the 2005 Australian Open, Peng beat Maria Elena Cameron to win her first Grand Slam singles match. At the end of that year, she was ranked 37. 2006 and 2007 were rough, but she did make it to the third round of Wimbledon in 2006 and beat Amelie Mauresmo in a top-ten match in 2007. Also, in 2008, Peng had both wins and losses, which made him decide to work with a new tennis coach.
In 2009, she said that Tarik Benhabiles would be her coach full-time. Then, with Hsieh Su-Wei, she won the Sydney International doubles title. She later won the Italian Open doubles title and made it to the quarterfinals of the French Open doubles tournament.
At Wimbledon, she beat Maria Sharapova, who was once ranked number one in the world, but she lost to Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals. She was ranked 13th by the end of 2009. Peng was hurt several times in 2010, but 2011 and 2012 were good years for him.
In 2013, her singles ranking started to go down, but she began to have a lot of success as a doubles player. She won the WTA Tour Championship, making her the first player from China to do so. Peng won five double titles in 2013 with her childhood friend Hsieh Su-Wei.
For the rest of the 2010s, Peng kept playing high in both doubles and singles tournaments. In 2016, at the Tianjin Open, she won her first WTA singles title. In 2017, at the Jiangxi Open, she won her second. Peng hasn't played tennis since the Qatar Total Open in Doha in February 2020. In February 2022, she said in an interview that she was done with tennis for good.
Peng Shuai Personal Life
In November 2021, Peng wrote on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media site, that Zhang Gaoli, the former Vice Premier of China, had sexually assaulted her three years before. But 20 minutes after it was posted, the post was taken down, even though other media sites had already taken screenshots.
In the following weeks, Peng stopped being seen by the public. This made people around the world worry about her health and safety. The WTA asked the Chinese government to investigate why she went missing. The Chinese Tennis Association, which the government runs, said Peng was safe, but this didn't stop the international uproar.
Shortly after that, China Global Television Network put out an email that Peng had supposedly written. In it, she said she was safe and resting at home and took back her claim that she had been sexually assaulted. But many people in the media thought the email was fake and asked for more proof that she was safe.
The Chinese government then showed pictures of Peng at local tennis matches and restaurants where he ate. Not happy, the WTA said it would stop holding tournaments in China and Hong Kong. In December, a month later, a newspaper published a six-minute video of Peng in which she said she had just been staying at home.
She also said in the video that she had never written about someone sexually assaulting her or accused anyone of doing so.
A few months later, she gave an interview to a French newspaper and said again that she had never said anything like that. The Western media is still not sure if Peng is free, and many have said they think the interviews are part of a Chinese propaganda campaign to make the assault claims seem less severe.
Peng was one of Time magazine's “100 Most Influential People of 2022”. Lu Pin, a feminist activist, wrote the piece about Peng. She focused on her first post, how she disappeared after that, and how the story has affected the movement for women's rights, especially against authoritarian power.
How Much Money Does Peng Shuai Have?
Peng Shuai is a former Chinese professional tennis player with a $4 million net worth. She was the first Chinese tennis player to be ranked number one in either singles or doubles. In 2014, the Women's Tennis Association ranked Peng Shuai as the number one doubles player.
Frequently Asked Question
What Went Wrong With Shuai Peng?
BEIJING—In an interview published this week, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai took back her claims that an influential Chinese official sexually assaulted her and said she was giving up competitive tennis. She did this to calm worries about her safety in China.
Has Peng Shuai Been Seen?
After the first of these meetings in November, the I.O.C. released a statement saying that Peng had said she was “safe and well.” Since then, she has been seen in China on several social media posts.
Where Is the Hashtag for Peng Shuai?
The hashtag #WhereIsPengShai is mainly used on social media and is part of a grass-roots campaign to find out what happened to Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.