Another Semifinal For Chinese No.2 Peng
Published May 19, 2011 12:00
BRUSSELS, Belgium - After back-to-back first round losses in Madrid and Rome, Peng Shuai has reasserted herself as one of the hottest players on the WTA this week, reaching her fourth semifinal of the year in Brussels.
Peng, the No.8 seed, scored a 62 64 win over Sofia Arvidsson, winning the first set in 28 minutes then rallying from 1-3 to close the Swede out in straights.
"I'm happy," Peng said. "I won and lost against Sofia before, so I knew how she played and knew she was very tough. She hits the ball hard so I had to handle her power and try to control the rallies when I could, and make her move too. I was a little bit tight when she broke me in the second set but I'm happy I won."
Peng had a chance to see some of the city the day before. "It's my first time in Brussels and on Wednesday we walked around a little bit and looked at all the buildings and history. It was nice and hopefully I'll see more before I leave."
Peng's first three semifinals of the season came on the hardcourts of Auckland and Hobart in January and on the green clay of Charleston in April.
Zvonareva dominates Peng in their head-to-head series, 7-0, although the Chinese has captured sets in five of those seven Zvonareva victories.
The other semifinal will be an all-star match-up between the No.1 player in the world and the reigning French Open champion, as Caroline Wozniacki takes on Francesca Schiavone. Wozniacki, seeded No.1, made it to the semifinals when No.6 seed Yanina Wickmayer retired after two games with a low back injury; Schiavone, the No.3 seed, crafted a 62 63 win over Ayumi Morita.
"To see Yanina hurting on the other side with Roland Garros coming up next week, it's not fun to win that way," Wozniacki said. "But I'm looking forward to the semifinals now. Francesca will be a good challenge for me tomorrow."
Wozniacki leads Schiavone in their head-to-head series, 3-2. Wozniacki lost their first two meetings but has won their last three. Schiavone will be confident going into the match though - this is her first semifinal of the season.
"Caroline has a lot of big qualities - she has been No.1 for a long time now," Schiavone said. "I'll have to play really well to beat her. Both of us are playing very relaxed and just trying to improve our form with a big Grand Slam coming.
"I'll need to run a lot, but it's okay - it's my job."