'For Rafael Nadal, how is he going to respond?', says top analyst

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'For Rafael Nadal, how is he going to respond?', says top analyst

20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal said he is following the news about Peng Shuai, adding that he hopes the Chinese is safe and sound. Peng, a former stunt world number one, disappeared in China after accusing a former deputy prime minister of s*xual assault.

Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka are some of the biggest names to come out and talk about Peng's disappearance. "I follow the news and read the articles about Peng Shuai. Although I do not have all the information, the most important thing here is to know if she is okay.

All of us in the tennis family hope to see her back with us soon, "Nadal said, according to L'Equipe. This week, the WTA received an email that was said to have been sent from Peng. In the mail, it was said that Peng was safe and that her allegations were false.

The WTA did not believe that the mail was sent by Peng. "The statement released today by Chinese state media about Peng Shuai only raises my concerns regarding her safety and her whereabouts," said WTA Executive Director Steve Simon.

"I find it hard to believe that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or to believe what she is credited with. Peng Shuai showed incredible courage in describing an accusation of s*xual assault against a former senior Chinese government official.

The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe."

Jim Courier comments on Nadal

Jim Courier recently gave his views on the Slam race among the Big 3, opining that both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would likely add to their tallies next year.

Heading into 2022, Courier sees Nadal as the Roland Garros favorite and Djokovic as the man to beat at the other three Grand Slam events. "For Rafa, how is he going to respond?" Courier continued. "How is his foot going to respond after sitting out a lot of this season trying to fix that after it went out on him at Roland Garros? He's still the favorite at Roland Garros - slightly, slightly, slightly over Novak in my opinion - assuming they're both healthy.

Novak is probably the favorite everywhere else," Courier added. "Certainly at Wimbledon, but on the hardcourts I think it's narrowed dramatically here with the way this season ended - the way that Zverev has stepped up and Medvedev has stepped up.

So I can easily see Rafa and Novak adding one each, maybe two if Novak goes to Australia. But these young guys are hungry and they've narrowed the gap on them."