Peng Shuai of China returns a shot during the women's singles quarterfinal match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland at the 2014 U.S. Open in New York, the United States, Sept. 2, 2014. Peng Shuai won 2-0. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)
NEW YORK, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The 28-year-old Chinese star Peng Shuai made it to her first Grand Slam semifinal after beating Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-1 in the U.S. Open quarterfinals here on Tuesday.
Peng became the third Chinese player to achieve a Grand Slam semifinal, following two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na and two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Zheng Jie.
Peng finished all her five U.S. Open matches in straight sets, becoming the only player in the bottom half to achieve that.
Peng had played 36 Grand Slams without reaching the last eight, until the 2014 U.S. Open.
She had a perfect start on Tuesday, breaking in the fourth game in the first set to take a 3-1 lead. Peng managed to break again in the eighth game and closed the first set 6-2.
Peng stormed to open the second set 5-0. Bencic managed to keep serve in the sixth game, but Peng continued her big serving and finished the match 6-1.
It cost Peng 64 minutes to take the victory. She hit 24 winners - including five aces - to just seven unforced errors.
"It's amazing," said Peng at the on-court interview, "I love tennis and love to play, and it's tough sometimes when I'm thinking of giving up and almost stopping playing because I don't know if I can make it or not, but my coach and parents make sure I keep fighting and never give up."
It was also the first Grand Slam quarterfinal show for the 17- year-old Bencic, the second youngest player in U.S. Open women's singles main draw. She beat sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber and the ninth seed Jelena Jankovic en route to the Tuesday match.
Peng was the first player to reach the last four in women's singles. She would meet either Caroline Wozniacki or Sara Errani in the semifinal.