rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » US Open: China's Peng routs Swiss teen to reach semis

US Open: China's Peng routs Swiss teen to reach semis

September 03, 2014 08:33 IST

Shuai Peng of China

Shuai Peng of China returns to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

A long measure of Grand Slam patience paid off for Peng Shuai of China, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open on Tuesday by routing Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-1 in the Flushing Meadows heat.

Peng, 28, delivered a master lesson to the 17-year-old Bencic in an unlikely quarter-final between unseeded players, winning the groundstroke rallies and unleashing pinpoint passing shot winners after luring the Swiss to the net with short balls.

After 2013 junior World No 1 Bencic netted a backhand for her 19th unforced error on the first match point of the 64-minute clash, Peng pumped her fist in exaltation, but later was at a loss of words.

‘This is amazing time for me’

Shuai Peng of China celebrates

AShuai Peng of China celebrates after defeating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Asked about reaching her first Grand Slam singles semi-final in her 37th attempt in a major, an emotional Peng took a few moments to collect herself.

"This is amazing time for me," said Peng, ranked World No 1 in doubles, but whose best singles result in 36 previous Slams was to the fourth round.

"A lot of tennis. It's a long time, the career. It’s tough sometimes. I’m thinking to give up and stop playing because I don’t know if I can make it or not."

Peng has won 16 doubles titles, most recently claiming the French Open title with Hsieh Su-wei, but has yet to win a tour singles title.

"I really thank my coach, my parents. They always tell me to fight and keep going and never ever give up. And this today was coming," Peng said.

Surprising paths

Shuai Peng of China shakes hands with Belinda Bencic

Shuai Peng, right, of China shakes hands with Belinda Bencic of Switzerland after their women's singles quarterfinal match. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Peng and Bencic both carved out surprising paths to the quarter-finals.

The 39th-ranked Chinese rattled off three impressive upsets in a row from the second round, ousting fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 28th seed Roberta Vinci and 14th-seeded Lucie Safarova.

Big-hitting Bencic, last year's French and Wimbledon junior champion who is ranked 58th, also upset 31st seed Kurumi Nara, sixth seed Angelique Kerber and ninth-seeded Jelena Jankovic.

Bencic was the youngest player to reach the US Open quarters since compatriot Martina Hingis in 1997. Hingis, is a friend and practice partner, whose mother Melanie Molitor coaches the up-and-coming Swiss player.

The teenager had shown impressive composure in her run to the quarters, but the precision brilliance of Peng frustrated her.

Bencic showed her frustration by muttering angrily at herself, and swiping at the air with her racket. After falling behind 2-0 in the second set, she bickered with the umpire after being issued a coaching warning.

Peng, meanwhile, stayed focussed on business.

The Chinese winner was never threatened in the one-sided contest, winning 54 points to 36, ripping 24 winners to double Bencic's total, while committing only seven errors in a virtuoso performance.

Peng will play either former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, the 10th seed from Denmark, or Italian 13th seed Sara Errani in the semi-finals.

Top-seeded two-time defending champion Serena Williams used a medical timeout to have her right foot and ankle re-taped during the second set of her quarter-final doubles match against Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Williams, playing with her sister Venus, appeared to be all right after timeout but it proved to be a disappointing performance.\

The fourth-seeded Russians went on to win 7-6 (5) 6-4, advancing to the semi-finals after Serena double-faulted on the last two points of the match.

Source:
© Copyright 2014 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.