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Italian Open 2022 Causes a Stir as Peng Shuai’s Name Resurfaces in the Draw

Published 05/09/2022, 8:14 AM EDT

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The schedule for the Italian Open was out, but it took some time for people to comprehend the list. There was the name of a tennis player who has not been active for some time – Peng Shuai. She has been off the court for more than a year now and announced her retirement this year in 2022. She came into the limelight when she revealed the details of her sexual assault by the retired vice-premier of China, Zhang Gaoli.

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What happened to Peng Shuai?


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Peng Shuai is a former world no.1 double’s player by WTA. She took to Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, posting a message about the former vice-premier who forced her into having sex. The player was not in the public light for 3 weeks, which instilled a reaction from players like Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Andy Murray. They asked about her whereabouts and raised concern for her well-being.

Mistake with the Italian Open schedule

Later on, when she came back, she took her statement back and stated that it was just a ‘misunderstanding’. Recently, the Italian Open’s schedule was released and Peng Shuai’s name was there. It came as a shock to everyone. But later on, the clarification made it clear that she was not going to be there. It looked as if she had come back to professional tennis, but the authorities cleared the doubt and made an amendment. 


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Peng Shuai made her debut in 2001 and has won 25 doubles and singles WTA titles. She has also competed in three Olympic games. In 2014, she became the first Chinese player to reach world no. 1 in doubles.

WATCH THIS STORY: Rise of a superstar—Iga Swiatek victorious moments on the WTA tour


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Italian Open 2022

Italian Open will go ahead with its 79th edition in Rome and we will see sensational players like Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal on the court. There will also be the reigning champion of the recently concluded Madrid Open, Ons Jabeur along with Coco Gauff and Angelique Kerber.

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Written by:

Shivali Sharma


One take at a time

Shivali Sharma is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. She has pursued her Master's in history from Himachal University, but her love for the game has driven her to write about tennis. Shivali is a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires Osaka not only for her on-court performances, but also for her off-court actions.
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Edited by:

Shubhra Pandey