Shuai Peng, China’s top-ranked female tennis player, has been placed under investigation for alleged match-fixing
Pressure is mounting on China over tennis star Peng Shuai. Here’s what you need to know
Pressure is mounting on China’s tennis star Peng Shuai after she admitted losing a match early in the year in order to manipulate the results.
Peng, ranked 11th in the world, was forced to admit she had accepted $20,000 to lose her early-round match at the Italian Open in February – specifically so she could be knocked out in the first round and leapfrog into a higher seed for the remainder of the tournament.
While this can be seen as a standard gambling “advantage”, since only a player who has lost the match can alter their seedings, European media had pointed out that it seemed suspicious given the circumstances of the match and how closely the outcome had tracked up to the draw.
Her match against Amanda Anisimova of the United States ended in a 6-1 6-2 thrashing, causing Peng to be replaced in the seedings by Austrian Julia Schruff. The same pattern was repeated when Schruff entered the draw for the French Open.
Anisimova had earlier described her relationship with the Chinese player as “good” in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated. But she also said she was aware her friend had done “bad things” while in tennis.
“She just lost to someone in the first round, and I can’t imagine what she would do that’s so horrible,” she said. “But why should it matter? It’s human beings, what happened in the past.”