Announcement: Sunday, 5 March 2017 matches start at 5.30pm.
23 February 2017
Playing in her second ALYA WTA Malaysian Open, she is set create a surprise.
After taking up tennis at the age of eight, Peng Shuai was not yet a teenager when she underwent surgery to fix a heart complication.
Many told Peng Shuai that she may never play again but the Hunan-born rallied on and trained hard to become a professional player.
The 31-year- old, who will be playing in her second ALYA Malaysian Open from February 27 th to March 5, faced another challenging moment when she injured her back in 2015 and had to go for a surgery again. She only returned seven months later in January, 2016.
“A lot of people thought…I wouldn’t come back to tennis after each operation. Maybe because I love tennis so much, I decided to [do it],” said Peng Shuai in a recent interview. Over the course of her career, Peng Shuai has recorded 15 singles wins over top 10 players, won two Grand Slam titles in doubles and also represented China in two Olympics.
Known for her prowess in doubles, she captured the Wimbledon crown in 2013 and the French Open in 2014 with Taiwan’s Hsieh Su Wei, and became the first Chinese player, male or female, to ascend to World No. 1 in the ranking of doubles in February, 2014.
Her run to the US Open semi-finals in 2014 was also a fantastic feat, as she upset three seeds — Agnieszka Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Lucie Safarova — only to see it end in a nightmare.
She was overcame by heat illness against Caroline Wozniacki, collapsed on court, and was taken off in a wheelchair.
Last October, Peng Shuai finally won a WTA Tour title in the Tianjin Open since turning professional in 2001. It was her first career win in seven finals.
Peng Shuai’s path to her first career title was with the deck stacked against her as she was ranked No. 182 in the world coming into the tournament.
She, however, benefitted from two walkovers from Zhang Shuai and top seed Radwanska in the tournament, ensuring she only needed to “win” three matches for the crown.
This year, the World No 57 reached her eighth career final in the Taipei Open, only to lose to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
In her only previous outing in the ALYA Malaysian Open in 2012, Peng Shuai managed to make a quarter-final appearance.
With respectable outings of late, Peng Shuai will definitely be a contender in Kuala Lumpur.