By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday November 19, 2021
Novak Djokovic has thrown his support behind WTA CEO Steve Simon and also calls for cooperation between the tennis tours when it comes to taking a stance against China for its treatment of Peng Shuai.
The World No.1 spoke to reporters during his post-match press conference in Turin on Friday, saying that he is 100 percent behind Simon and the WTA. Simon has said in multiple interviews that he would not be averse to pulling the tour out of China if the Chinese government don’t provide assurances that Peng is safe and that her allegations of sexual assault are investigated.
“I support the statement of WTA as an organization and also their president absolutely,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic called for solidarity between the ATP and WTA Tours as well.
“The whole community, tennis community, needs to back her up and her family, make sure that she’s safe and sound because if you would have tournaments on the Chinese soil without resolving this situation, it would be a little bit strange,” he said. “I do understand why WTA has taken a stance like that.”
Yesterday, Djokovic’s organization, the PTPA (Professional Tennis Player’s Association) had already released a statement condemning China’s censorship of Peng. At the moment it isn’t known if Peng is safe, and a letter that was reportedly sent to the WTA from Peng appears to be dubious. Most believe that if Peng wrote it, she was likely coerced.
— Professional Tennis Players Association (@ptpaplayers) November 18, 2021
“It’s important because this is horrifying,” Djokovic said. “I heard just now from [tennis journalist Reem Abulleil] that WTA is willing to pull out from China with all the tournaments unless this is resolved. I support it 100 percent.”