Sat, May 25, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Peng Shuai stuns Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3 in Brussels


China’s eighth seed Peng Shuai upset the rankings to defeat fourth-seeded American Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the Brussels Open quarter-finals.

Peng is now through to the seventh Premier-level semi-final of her career, having gone 1-5 in her previous six.

However, she did make the final in the Belgian capital in 2011 where she lost to former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

“It was cold out there, but I had a good start, probably because I played so much yesterday,” said Peng, who played twice on Wednesday at the rain-hit claycourt event.

“Two years ago I made the final, so I always feel really good here, and now I’m in the semi-finals again,” Peng said. “I’ll keep fighting in the next match and hopefully I can make the final again.”

Zheng Jie was unable to make it a China one-two after she went down 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 to Italy’s Romina Oprandi.

Peng and Oprandi will now square off in the semi-finals, with their head-to-head series tied at 1-1.

“We just played a few weeks ago in Portugal and it was a really tough match for me,” Peng said. “She played so many drop shots and they worked so well on the clay. She beat me really easily that day.”

The other two quarter-final matches, pitting Roberta Vinci against Jamie Hampton Varvara Lepchenko against Kaia Kanepi, were pushed back to yesterday.



Third-seeded Alize Cornet and Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard won in straight sets on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Strasbourg International.

A runner-up last year, Cornet beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-3, 6-1, while Bouchard move into the semi-finals of a tournament for the first time by defeating Anna Tatishvili of Georgia 6-3, 6-2.

Rain interrupted play at 5-1 in the second set of Cornet’s match, but the Frenchwoman picked up where she left off, firing a backhand pass to clinch the victory and next play Bouchard.

Bouchard, who entered the top 100 last month, broke Tatishvili twice in each set.

The last two quarter-finals were postponed to yesterday morning. Flavia Pennetta of Italy was to face Misaki Doi of Japan, while Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic was to take on Johanna Larsson of Sweden.

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