Flushing Meadows, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – China’s Peng Shuai secured a berth in her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal with a big victory Tuesday at the U.S. Open.
The 27-year-old Peng leveled upstart 17-year-old Swiss and fellow non-seed Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-1 in 63 minutes on a steamy day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Peng tallied four service breaks, compared to zero for Bencic, and recorded twice as many winners (24-12) on Day 9 of the fortnight. Bencic hurt her own cause with 19 unforced errors.
The veteran Peng’s semifinal opponent on Friday will be 10th-seeded former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki or 13th-seeded Sara Errani, who will clash Tuesday night at Ashe Stadium. Wozniacki was the U.S. Open runner-up in 2009, while Errani is a former French Open finalist.
Peng is appearing in her 37th Grand Slam event. She’s never titled on the WTA, but is a six-time finalist, including this year in Shenzhen in her native China, where she lost to fellow countrywoman Li Na.
Two other quarterfinals will be staged on Wednesday, when reigning world No. 1 Serena Williams faces 11th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta and 16th-seeded former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka takes on 17th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who has quietly reached the quarters at four of the last eight majors.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion Williams beat the two-time Aussie Open titlist Azarenka in the last two U.S. Open finals and is a five-time champion in Flushing Meadows.