Novak Djokovic backs 'courageous' WTA stance over suspension of China events

With Peng Shuai's safety still a concern, the WTA have found a strong supporter of their decision to pull out of China.

Novak Djokovic has thrown his weight behind the WTA's decision to withdraw from China in protest to the Peng Shuai situation.

Peng's safety has been a matter of serious concern after she disappeared for two weeks after she accused a former high-ranking potitician of sexually abusing her.

She has since been seen in a video call with the International Olympic Committee and at an event in Beijing, but many believe she is not acting of her own free will.

In response, the WTA announced they would pull all of their events from China until Peng's safety can be guaranteed, and that move has the full backing of Djokovic.

"I support fully WTA's stance because we don't have enough information about Peng Shuai and her well-being, and her health is of the utmost importance for the tennis community," the ATP world number one said.

"We don't have enough information, and I think it's a very bold, very courageous stance from WTA."

Human rights charity Amnesty International also offered its support and urged the international community to keep up the pressure on China.

Doriane Lau, Amnesty's China researcher, said: "The WTA's decision to suspend tournaments in China after insufficient answers on the freedom of movement, well-being, and safety of tennis player Peng Shuai shows that they are taking their due diligence responsibilities seriously.

"The move, along with messages of support from some of the tennis world's biggest stars, have also sent authorities in China a much-needed message that their attempts to sweep these allegations under the rug will not go unchallenged.

"The international community should continue to urge the Chinese government to investigate all allegations of sexual violence promptly and effectively.

"They should also ask the Chinese government to ensure that the survivors have a platform to express themselves freely and without any adverse consequences."

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