Peng Shuai, who has not played professionally since September, and was reported missing by her family in China earlier this week, reappeared in public on Friday.
Peng, 29, whose most recent match was in Guangzhou in September, was caught on CCTV meeting a family member with a bag which carried her belongings. She had been absent from social media since 14 September and according to several reports, she left for Thailand shortly after and did not plan to return to China.
Her team have been quoted as saying Peng was foraging through mountains, where she had always enjoyed staying, and seeking her own food.
This CCTV footage shows Peng Shuai arriving at a restaurant in Thailand on 13 October. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
On Friday, Peng, who has been on tour for over a decade, was spotted at a restaurant in Thailand. Photos of her arrival, obtained by the Global Times, were posted online and shared by thousands of her fans.
According to the Hong Kong International news agency, a car arrived in Bangkok on Friday, and apparently drove Peng to her local hotel.
Her mother is reported to have visited her daughter’s apartment to collect belongings, which was empty.
In an interview with the Cheonghai Cricket and Golf Club on the outskirts of Bangkok, Sports Illustrated described the pitcher’s apartment as a “little retreat”. She reportedly had paintings and sketches and personal items, but left behind her phone, bracelet and shoes.
CKHK Sport (@CKHK_Sport) EXCLUSIVE: Missing #Chinese tennis star #PengShuai finally returned home. #PengShuai “Appreciated the word of “Hello! Okay, here you go. What do you want to do?”