Australian Open: Not so Sweet 16
January 24, 2022
The GIST: The round of 16 is complete, but things aren’t so sweet off the court at the Aussie Open.
The latest: On Saturday (local time), fans were asked to remove t-shirts reading, “Where is Peng Shuai?” (pronounced PUNG sh-WHY) referencing the Chinese tennis player who briefly went missing last year after accusing a former top Chinese government official of sexual assault.
- While Peng has been seen publicly and retracted her allegations since, there’s lingering uncertainty about her well-being and concern that she’s being censored.
- In response to the incident, Tennis Australia said Peng’s safety is their “primary concern,” but that “clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political” aren’t allowed, a move tennis legend Martina Navratilova called “cowardly.” Preach.
On court: As mentioned, we’re down to the singles quarter-finals, and some big names are still in contention. For the women, world No. 1 and top seed Ash Barty remains in the hunt for her first Aussie Open title. And for the men, No. 6 Rafael Nadal’s quest for his record-setting 21st Grand Slam continues.
- Transitioning to our Canadians, the men are still holding it down (under): No. 9 Félix Auger-Aliassime and No. 14 Denis Shapovalov (who’ll next face Nadal) are both on to the quarters. Throw some shrimp on the barbie for good luck.