By Bob Stockton
Chinese tennis player Wang Qiang, world No. 29 in the WTA ranking, told local media in China that she is enjoying the days without professional tennis.
“To be honest, I feel quite good to be able to sit back during this period of time after having traveled and played over many years to a point where the fatigue and injury had given me a warning,” Wang said in an interview with the media outlet China Daily.
“My body has now recovered and relaxed, and I’ve been able to enjoy some quality time with my family, which I couldn’t for years. This is not bad for me at all,” she said.
The 28-year-old returned from the United States after the cancellation of Indian Wells tournament in early March, and now has been training in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province. With the joint decision from ATP and WTA last Friday, the suspensions of professional tennis have been extended until July 30.
As the highest-ranked Chinese player in the WTA, Wang noted the financial challenges for players without consistent earnings from tour wins, but said she “can still handle the situation for a certain period of time.”
In response to an earlier French media report that her coach Thomas Drouet from France even considered working in pizza delivery to cover his daily expenses in the absence of a full salary from Wang during the suspension, Wang confirmed that she still provides financial support to her team which includes the coach and a physiotherapist, and that she also paid Drouet a month’s wage in advance to help him alleviate the burden.
“Financially, I am OK even though we all have to tighten our belt these days. I’d rather provide him as much support as I could than to sit back and do nothing,” Wang noted.
As documented in numerous media reports, the Chinese Communist government covered-up initial reports of the pandemic and silenced whistleblowers who wanted to warn the world of the coming havoc, which has caused the biggest world disruption since World War II. China is currently the site of four ATP events and 10 WTA events, including the year-end championships in Shenzen.