ATP does not join WTA in China boycott catching criticism from Navratilova and Roddick among others
The move to boycott China from the WTA was widely applauded in the media and among former and current players with many voicing their support. Arguably the most popular tennis player in China right now, Novak Djokovic also back the decision but the ATP won't be doing the same, at least not yet. In a statement released by the ATP, chairman Andrea Gaudenzi wrote:
"The situation involving Peng Shuai continues to raise serious concerns within and beyond our sport. The response to those concerns has so far fallen short. We again urge for a line of open direct communication between the player and the WTA in order to establish a clearer picture of her situation. We know that sport can have a positive influence on society and generally believe that having a global presence gives us the best chance of creating opportunity and making an impact."
Reuters reached out to the organization directly asking whether they will be suspending events in China being told that there will be no additional comment besides the statement. The move was not received well in the public with former players Martina Navratilova and Andy Roddick being the loudest. Navratilova called the statement 'embarrassing while adding:
"Are we to understand that the @ATP would have made the same statement had the player been a male? Somehow I think not."
Andy Roddick wrote:
"How to say a lot of words and say nothing."
The ITF as the governing body of all of tennis commented on the move with:
"Our primary concern remains Peng Shuai's wellbeing. The allegations Peng made must be addressed. We will continue to support all efforts being made to that end, both publicly and behind the scenes."