Tennis players worried about Chinese star

Leading pro tennis players have expressed concerns about Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who is reported missing after alleging sexual assault by a former leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

Peng, who won doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014, posted on social media this month that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex with him despite her repeated refusal, and that they later had a consensual relationship.

Zhang was a member of the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee until 2017.

The post was later deleted, and news outlets say Peng has not been heard from since.

Other players say they are praying for her safety.

Osaka Naomi said on Twitter on Wednesday, "I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused. ... I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok. I'm in shock at the current situation."

Novak Djokovic told reporters on Monday that although he doesn't have much information about the situation, "It's shocking that she's missing." He said he hopes she will be found and that she's okay.

The Women's Tennis Association has issued a statement seeking a fair investigation into the matter.