5 things about China's latest tennis star Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai wrote her name in the history books when she beat her Swiss opponent Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The 28-year-old's 6-2, 6-1 win made her China's third tennis player to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam singles tournament.
As she follows in the footsteps of Australian Open champion Li Na and Zheng Jie, here are a few things you might want to know about China's latest tennis star, courtesy of AFP.
- Peng may not have had much luck in singles till now, but she is a star on the doubles circuit. The Hunan native has 16 doubles titles to her name and claimed the top spot on the WTA women's double rankings in February to become China's first world No 1 in tennis.
China may not see eye-to-eye with Taiwan, but Peng has no such problem with her longtime tennis partner Hsieh Su-wei, who was born in Kaohsiung. The duo have won two Grand Slam titles - last year's Wimbledon and this year's edition at Roland Garros.
Peng started playing tennis at the age of eight, but her dream nearly died four years later when doctors found out that she had a congenital heart defect. The plucky 12-year-old insisted on going under the knife to fix the problem and was back on court after an year of recuperation.
- Even after she struggled with her health, Peng faced further obstacles in her professional career as mediocre results, injuries and clashes with Chinese authorities nearly forced her to quit. Despite undergoing mental anguish for "three or four years", her team kept her going.
- She reached her highest singles ranking of 14 in 2011, but injuries prevented Peng from reaching greater heights. She is now ranked world No 39, and is guaranteed to zoom up the rankings after the US Open. She is the defending Asian Games gold medallist from 2010, where she was also part of the team that clinched top spot in the team event.