Sunday's Wimbledon 2022 final between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios suffered a brief interruption when an activist was heard shouting "Where's Peng Shuai?" during the match. The inmate also held up a sign with the message and was later ejected from Central Court. The activist was later revealed to be Drew Pavlou, who was involved in a similar protest earlier this year, during the 2022 Australian Open.
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Associated Press, Pavlou explained the incident that happened during the stoppage of the game on Sunday. "I didn't want to interrupt the game itself, so I waited to make sure there was a break in the game, and then I just held up a sign that said, 'Where is Peng Shuai?'" he said. He added that he asked the question after he feared the Chinese star would be persecuted by his country's government.
What happened to Peng Shuai?
Peng Shuai is a 36-year-old former tennis player who became the most talked about tennis personality in November 2021 after his mysterious disappearance after being accused of sexual abuse by a tennis official. government of China. He accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually assaulting a post on the Chinese social network Weibo, which was later deleted.
This was followed by his mysterious disappearance, which caused concern in all corners of the tennis world. However, the former Wimbledon champion and three-time Olympian appeared later and withdrew the charges against Zhang. The Singapore-based Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, according to the AP, published a video of the former tennis player in which he was heard saying: "I have not yet said that I am writing, someone has sexually assaulted me. I have to make this point very clear."
"It's about how people behave," said All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton
It is important to mention here that Peng Shuai announced his retirement from the Games in 2020. Meanwhile, in another incident, four activists carried 'Where is Peng Shuai?' t-shirts stopped by Wimbledon for sure and even their suitcases. Wimbledon 2022 organizer and All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton shed light on the protests on the first day of the tournament.
Bolton, like the AP, said: "We have ground rules, and the ground rules are really about everyone's quiet enjoyment of tennis. It's not about what people wear. It's about how people behave." In particular, Peng Shuai has won Grand Slam women's doubles titles in her career, including the 2013 Wimbledon title.