Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai retires on health grounds

Written by Staff Writer Peng Shuai has withdrawn from the Beijing Grand Prix on health grounds. The Chinese tennis player was being investigated after authorities discovered his controversial state media interview with the official…

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai retires on health grounds

Written by Staff Writer

Peng Shuai has withdrawn from the Beijing Grand Prix on health grounds.

The Chinese tennis player was being investigated after authorities discovered his controversial state media interview with the official China News Service, in which he sang praises of “Sinicization” of golf.

“As a professional athlete, Peng Shuai’s first priority is his health,” China Tennis Association President Tao Jixiang said in a statement issued on Monday.

“After understanding the investigation details, the CTA has strongly condemned the remarks by Peng Shuai.”

Three-time Grand Slam champion Li Na retires because of injuries

Days before her scheduled appearance at the Beijing Grand Prix, Peng said she would not defend her WTA event title after questions were raised about her remarks on golf

Peng Shuai in 2016. Credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images

That remark has put her in the spotlight for the second time in a matter of months after she chose to play in the Zhuhai Open when the CTA banned her from travelling to the mainland for a few months last year for comments made during a match.

“Look, I enjoy playing golf. I love playing golf… but at the same time the future of China is not this golf,” she said at the time.

After all that she has gone through, the CTA has suspended Peng for the rest of 2018.

‘The future of China is not this golf,’ says Peng Shuai, referring to “Sinicization”

Former winners of the event that is held near Shanghai have included Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

Peng, a 2015 and 2016 quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, claimed a career-high ranking of 12th in March 2018 and was bidding to become the first Chinese player in more than a decade to enter the top 10.

“I hope to say a heartfelt thanks to the Chinese fans for your solidarity and hope to return back to them,” she said in the statement.

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