Serena Williams says case 'must be investigated'

Peng, 35, has not been heard from since she made sexual assault allegations against a leading Chinese government official two weeks ago.

Chinese state media has released an email attributed to Peng, but doubt has been cast about its authenticity.

"I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible," said Williams.

Concern for Peng's welfare has continued to grow since she said she was "forced" into a sexual relationship with former China vice-premier Zhang Gaoli.

World number one Barty retires from Italian Open

Barty, the 2019 French Open winner, was leading 6-4 2-1 against her American opponent when she called a physio and had her right-arm strapped with a compression sleeve.

The Australian eventually decided against continuing the match in wet conditions in Rome, allowing Gauff to book a place in the final four.

Barty missed the 2020 claycourt swing due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has returned even stronger this season, winning the title in Stuttgart before finishing runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in Madrid last week.

Samoa and Tonga reach tennis men's doubles semis

In the men’s doubles quarter finals, Tongan brothers Matavano and Semisi Fanguna upset second seeds, PNG’s Mark Gibbons and Matthew Stubbings, to progress to the semi-finals. An excited Matavano Fanguna said: ”This win means a lot. It’s our second Pacific Games but our first time to progress to the semis”.

Osaka targets more major glory

Osaka triumphed 6-2 6-4 on Saturday in a final that was overshadowed by a dispute between opponent Serena Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos.

Williams was issued a code violation for what the official deemed to be coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou, irritating the 23-time major champion who insisted she was not a cheat.

A point penalty for racquet abuse led to her branding Ramos a "liar" and a "thief" and she was then docked a game, after which the American called for the match referee and alleged she was being treated differently to male players.

Pacific Oceania expecting big step up after Fed Cup promotion

The regional team came from behind to beat Singapore 2-1 in their promotion play-off semifinal in Bahrain at the weekend, winning the decisive doubles rubber in straight sets.

Team captain Gilles De Gouy said, after three years in Group Two, taking on the likes of China, Korea and Kazakhstan will be a whole new level.

"Because now we are going to compete with girls definitely in big countries of tennis, girls who are in the top 100 or top 200 for most of them...definitely playing between the middle of the big nations of Asia," he said.

Pacific Oceania a step closer to Fed Cup promotion

Carol Lee from the Northern Marianas thrashed Maryam Al Balushi 6-0 6-0 in the opening singles rubber before Abigail Tere-Apisah held off a strong challenge to beat Fatma Al Nabhani 7-6 7-5.

The Papua New Guinean then combined with Samoa's Steffi Carruthers for a 6-0 6-1 win in the doubles.

Pacific Oceania, who also swept Iran in their opening match, are top of Pool C with a round to play.

The composite team only need to win one rubber in today's final pool match against second-placed Malaysia to advance to the semi-final promotion playoff.


Pacific Oceania claim Fed Cup 'underdog' tag

Papua New Guinea's Abigail Tere-Apisah and Samoa's Steffi Carruthers are back for a fourth consecutive year, while Carol Lee from the Northern Marianas will make her second appearance for the composite side.

The women face Iran in today's opening round, a side they defeated during last year's Group Two tournament, and will also face Oman and Malaysia in Pool C.

Team captain Gilles De Gouy said the team has arrived in Bahrain fit and ready to go.

Satisfied Federer eyeing improvement at Finals

The Swiss great opened Group Boris Becker with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) over American Sock in London on Sunday.

Federer, whose win was his 50th of the season, said he was pleased with his form, having last played competitively in his Swiss Indoors Basel final win over Juan Martin del Potro in late October.

"I'm happy that I was able to come out today and had actually good energy," he said, via the ATP World Tour.

"This is the best I've felt since the Del Potro final. I'm very happy to see that I didn't have to pay the price for taking it easy and resting and recovering.

Nadal to finish year as No.1

The 31-year-old Spaniard assured himself the world No.1 ranking by beating Hyeon Chung 7-5 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Masters.

The 16-time grand slam winner had not finished the year at the top since 2013, with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray doing so after that.

"One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being No.1 again at the end of the season," Nadal said.

Nadal's comeback from injury, loss of form and confidence, has been remarkable.

Nadal cruises into semi-finals

The 19-year-old, who grew up idolising Nadal and had the Spaniard's poster pinned up on his bedroom wall was smiling from ear-to-ear as he posed for pre-match photos on Arthur Ashe Stadium court with his hero.

That would be the highlight of an eye-opening afternoon for the Russian youngster as Nadal showed no mercy during a one hour, 37-minute thrashing.