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Peng Shuai announces her retirement during the 2022 Olympics

What you need to know about Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis star

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China’s Peng Shuai at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 21, 2020.

China’s Peng Shuai serves to Japan’s Nao Hibino during their first round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 21, 2020. The Chinese tennis star has announced her retirement.

Andy Brownbill, Associated Press

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai announced she will retire from tennis competitions months after an apparent disappearance and international outcry about her well-being.

The news: Peng told the French sports news outlet L’Équipethat she will retire from tennis, thanking her fans from across the world for supporting her.

What happened: Peng previously went missing after she made a public allegation of sexual assault against a retired official from China’s Communist Party, per The Wall Street Journal.

Yes, but: Peng said the entire ordeal was a misunderstanding and denied that she disappeared from the public sphere.

  • “This post has given rise to a huge misunderstanding from the outside world,” Peng told L’Équipe.
  • “I hope that we no longer distort the meaning of this post. And I also hope that we don’t add more hype on this.”
  • “I never said anyone had sexually assaulted me in any way.”
  • “My life has been what it’s supposed to be: nothing special.”
  •  “It’s just that a lot of people, like my friends, including from the IOC, messaged me, and it was quite impossible to reply to so many messages,” Peng said. “At the end of the year, their (Women Tennis Association’s) website’s communication computer was changed and many players had difficulty logging in at that time.
  • “My sentimental problems, my private life, should not be involved in sports and politics,” she said.


The bigger picture: Peng also held a private meeting with the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, over the weekend during the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, The New York Times reports.

  • The two met for dinner at the Olympic Club.