24-year old Shuai Peng seems to be at the crossroads of her tennis career. The baseliner has finished in the top 100 for seven straight years but seems mired in the middle of the pack. Her large following took heart this week with her 3-1 start of the 2011 season.
Shuai Peng has never won a WTA singles title but has managed to win 6 WTA doubles titles. Her career record in Grand Slams is undistinguished although she reached the third round at the U.S. Open in 2010.
Her career singles record is a respectable 258-157 and in doubles is 147-102. Many singles players play doubles to sharpen their skills but it seems Peng plays singles to sharpen her doubles skills.
Shuai is coached by Guillaume Peyre. Her father is a police officer and introduced Shuai to the game at age 8, a late start by most of today’s standards. She has always admired Steffi Graff and tries to emulate her all court game.
Despite winding up in the 62nd ranking position, 2010 was a disappointment for Peng. She always seemed to be battling injury or illness. She withdrew from Pattaya City with illness and from the French Open and Wimbledon with appendicitis. A late season wrist injury kept her on the shelf even longer.
To her credit, Peng has trained hard and looked like a serious threat at Auckland to open the season. The fleet Peng stretched last year’s defending champion, Yanina Wickmayer to three sets in their semifinal match. Along the way, she looked healthy in displaying her two-handed backhand that she hits from either side. Wickmayer was left flat footed on several occasions but rallied from one set down and 2-4 to come all the way back.
If Peng stays healthy, the tour players understand she is one of those fringe players that on a good day can give anyone fits. Let’s hope Shuai’s health issues are settled and she continues the aggressive play we saw at Auckland.
|Birth Date||January 8, 1986|
|Residence||Tian Jin, China|
|Year Turned Pro||2001|
|Current Rank – Singles||62|
|Current Rank – Doubles||39|
|Career Prize Earnings||$2,1451,583|
|Year-To- Date – Earnings||$10,200|
|Grand Slam (Singles)||0|
|Grand Slam Doubles||0|
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