Roger Federer says that he hopes Peng Shuai “is safe” after the apparent disappearance of the Chinese player.
Earlier in November, Peng accused a former Chinese Communist party vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, of alleged sexual coercion three years ago.
Her Weibo social media account has since been disabled and she has not been seen since. That has prompted concern around the world, including from professional tennis players, about her safety and whereabouts.
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Chinese state media released a statement purportedly from Peng on Wednesday – which claimed she was “resting at home and everything is fine” – and a video was released purportedly showing Peng at dinner on Saturday. The validity of both have been widely questioned.
"I hope she is safe,” said Roger Federer later on Saturday.
"The whole tennis family gathered around her. I hope she is well, and that news will come from her and I hope that she is well and that she will give us news".
The hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai has gathered momentum on social media, and Rafael Nadal had told L’Equipe earlier on Saturday that the most important thing was she was okay.
"I follow the news and read the articles about Peng Shuai,” began Nadal.
“Even though I don't have all the information, the most important thing is whether she is okay. All of us in the tennis family hope to see her soon with us.."
Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are among the tennis stars to speak out over Peng’s apparent disappearance, while WTA chief Steve Simon said there should be an investigation "with full transparency and without censorship" into the allegations, and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said they are “very concerned” about the situation.
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