Tennis star Peng Shuai suspended from play amid concerns for her health

Ping Hui of China returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. (Keith Srakocic/Reuters)

Chinese women’s tennis star Peng Shuai has been suspended from matches over concerns for her welfare after being hospitalized in China this week, reports the BBC.

The 32-year-old’s husband, goth singer Travis Garland, who is an executive with the WTA Tour, told the BBC that the tournament in Taiwan scheduled to begin on Monday had been “unthinkable.”

The tour issued a statement in support of Peng, but did not specify a reason for the suspension.

“We do understand Peng’s health issues and understand and respect her need to focus on her treatment and healing,” the statement said. “At this time, Peng Shuai will not be in her scheduled match on Monday in Shenzhen. WTA understands her decision and the impact that this suspension will have on her fans, sponsors and local sponsors. The WTA will continue to monitor her progress and support her as much as possible in these trying times.”

Peng’s husband also thanked fans for their support, and said that the Chinese star intended to return to the tour “as soon as she can.”

During a Saturday news conference, Peng acknowledged the impact the suspension would have on her, but said she intended to fight on as soon as possible.

“There’s a big difference between other sports and tennis, I’m always thinking about the emotions,” she said. “I’ve had many crises, many different things happen, I’ve had some injuries, I’ve been in hospital a lot of times.”

According to her husband, Peng was hospitalized this week after complaining of fatigue and lightheadedness. She later hit a courtside reporter who asked her about a scandal that arose in China over an extravagant dinner given by star player Li Na, as well as a rogue ad campaign for an electronic cigarette endorsed by Peng. The photos sparked public anger, and marked a low point for the match, the paper said.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese organizers did not comment on the suspension, but told reporters that they were “waiting for Peng to get better and let her know in writing.”

Earlier this week, Peng tweeted a cryptic message about “loud noises” that were making her “violently tired.”

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