|Intro||Chinese tennis player|
|Is||Athlete Tennis player|
|Birth||8 January 1986, Xiangtan, Hunan, People's Republic of China|
|Residence||Tianjin, People's Republic of China|
Peng Shuai (Chinese: 彭帅; pinyin: Péng Shuài; Mandarin pronunciation: [pʰə̌ŋ ʂwâi]; 8 January 1986) is a Chinese professional tennis player. She was ranked world No. 1 doubles by the WTA, the first Chinese tennis player to do so (male or female, and in singles or doubles) in February 2014. She peaked at No. 14 of the singles rankings in August 2011. Peng has won two singles and 22 doubles titles. She won a gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games, defeating Akgul Amanmuradova in the final. At the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, Peng won her first ladies' doubles championship with Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and again won at the 2014 French Open with Hsieh. Her best performance at a Grand Slam tournament in singles came at the 2014 US Open when she reached the semifinals, becoming the third Chinese tennis player in history to make a major semifinal after Zheng Jie and Li Na.
Peng is known for playing with two hands on both sides and hits very flat. She has defeated many top-10 and top-5 players, including Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva, Kim Clijsters, Amélie Mauresmo, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Janković, Agnieszka Radwańska, Marion Bartoli, and Vera Zvonareva.
Peng received recent attention when she accused former senior Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually assaulting her, followed by her abrupt disappearance and Chinese censorship, which in turn sparked growing worldwide concerns over her safety.
Peng began playing at age eight when an uncle, a famous tennis coach in China and the only other family member who plays tennis, introduced her to the game. She favors hardcourts and her two-handed forehand (though her backhand is the better side). Her father Peng Jijun is a police officer and her mother is Zhang Bing. At age 13, Peng was admitted to a hospital for heart surgery to repair a defect, a situation which she explained in the "Impossible is Nothing" campaign from Adidas.
In 2001, at the beginning of June, aged just 15 years and four months, she won her first singles title at Baotou, a $10k tournament, after entering as a wildcard, and crushing highly capable countrywoman Sun Tiantian 6–1, 6–4 in the semifinal. In July, she won her second ITF tournament of the year (although she was assisted in the final by the retirement of her opponent Liu Nannan after just one game was played, and in the following week's tournament she lost to Liu in the semifinal). Then in October she debuted on the WTA Tour at Shanghai as a wildcard, losing in the first round to Tamarine Tanasugarn.
In February 2002, Peng won her third $10k singles title in the space of nine months at Mumbai, defeating American Sunitha Rao in the final. The following week, she extended her match-winning streak to twelve by coming through qualifying to reach the final of a $25k tournament at New Delhi, with wins over Japanese Aiko Nakamura and Austrian Sybille Bammer, before losing in the championship match to Eva Birnerová. In July, she succeeded in qualifying for the main draw of a $50k tournament at Lexington; but further success proved elusive, and after a second successive first-round main draw defeat in early August she took nearly seven months off from competition at singles events, ending the year world-ranked just 357.
It was not until April 2003 that Peng next won a match; but then she proceeded to put in her career-best performance, coming through qualifying to win her first $25k title at Jackson, with match wins against Rika Fujiwara, Tatiana Golovin and Christina Wheeler among others. After disappointing summer results, she started to play more consistently again towards the end of the year; and in December, she won her first $50k event, and the fifth ITF title of her young career, at Changsha, with victories over Yuka Yoshida, Yan Zi and Zheng Jie, salvaging her year-end ranking, which had improved only slightly overall to 326, and heralding her coming breakthrough the following year.
In February 2004, she reached her third $25k singles event final at Columbus, Ohio, only to be defeated by future superstar Czech Nicole Vaidišová in the tantalisingly close tournament decider. The following month, she qualified for another $50k event, at Orange, California, with wins over Neha Uberoi and Mashona Washington, then defeated Colombian Catalina Castaño and Camille Pin to reach the main-draw quarterfinal, before losing in three sets to Ukrainian Yuliya Beygelzimer. Among further consistent results in ITF tournaments, she was victorious in what was the first ever $75k tournament she had entered, defeating Angela Haynes, Yuka Yoshida and Evgenia Linetskaya in straight sets at Dothan to take her sixth career ITF singles title. A month later, she proved this was no accident by winning her second $75k event, fending off some tough competition from Lucie Šafářová and Barbora Strýcová en route to a comfortable final victory over Zuzana Ondrášková.
With the season's excellent results propelling her rapidly upwards in the rankings, she gained direct entry into her first Grand Slam main draw at Wimbledon (though without match-wins to show for it), but narrowly missed the cut at the US Open, losing a close battle in the first round of qualifying to Russian Anastasia Rodionova. But the emerging Chinese star persisted in trying her hand at other WTA Tour events, and worked her way to considerable success at Cincinnati in August, defeating some high-class opponents in Stéphanie Foretz, Jill Craybas and Alina Jidkova to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal, before losing to top-20 player Vera Zvonareva. A second quarterfinal performance followed at Guangzhou in September, after she virtually blew French star Marion Bartoli off the court for the loss of just one game in round two, only to be ousted in turn herself by countrywoman Li Ting.
The year ended on a further high note for Peng, as she won her second $50k title and eighth overall career ITF singles title in November (Shenzhen 2), with impressive victories over her countrywomen Sun Tiantian and Zheng Jie. (She had also reached the Shenzhen-1 semifinal the previous week, only to lose to recent Guangzhou champion Li Na.) She ended the year world-ranked 73, after a meteoric rise. It was the first time she had finished in the top 300, let alone the top 75; and thereafter, she was able to bid the ITF events adieu, focussing solely on WTA events.
In January 2005, Peng came through a tough qualifying draw at Sydney comfortably, and went on to reach her first WTA Tour semifinal. On the way, she upset the No. 2 seed Anastasia Myskina in the second round in straight sets, in addition to defeating Camille Pin, Tzipora Obziler, Denisa Chládková and Mashona Washington, all without dropping a set. In the quarterfinal, she was up 6–3, 4–2 against Russian star Nadia Petrova, and well on target for another shock straight-sets victory, when Petrova retired. But Alicia Molik was on top form and finally ousted Peng in the semifinal. The following week, at the Australian Open, the Chinese star finally won her first Grand Slam singles match, defeating Maria Elena Camerin 6–1, 6–2, before being overcome by Venus Williams in round two.
An ankle injury in February made her miss several tournaments in February and March. On her return to competition in April, she lost two successive titanic second-round tussles to high-class players, namely Vera Zvonareva and Justine Henin-Hardenne, each match running to three close sets. At Strasbourg in May, she reached another WTA quarterfinal, with wins over Tamarine Tanasugar] and young French talent Tatiana Golovin, before losing in three sets to Marta Domachowska. At the French Open, she also took Lindsay Davenport into a deciding set in their second-round match.
In August, she topped all her previous achievements by reaching her first Tier-I semifinal at San Diego, posting upsets over then world No. 6, Elena Dementieva, world No. 26, Dinara Safina, and world No. 7, Kim Clijsters, all in straight sets. Her victory over Clijsters, who was on her way back to being world No. 1 after only a few months back on the tour following injury, ended the Belgian's 26–consecutive-match-winning streak on hardcourts. Following the match, Kim told reporters that Peng had the potential to become a top-3 tennis player. Although an inspired Mary Pierce had her way in the semifinal, Peng's outstanding performance in this tournament helped her to her career-best singles ranking (31st) on August 15, 2005, which was also the highest ever singles ranking achieved by any Chinese women's tennis player, improving on the standard set by Li Na, who peaked at 33 earlier the same year (though she may yet ascend to new heights).
By September 2005, Peng ranked among the top 5 female tennis players across the whole Asian continent. That month, she reached two further WTA quarterfinals, at Beijing and (for the second year running) Guangzhou, where she retired in her quarterfinal match against teenaged emerging star Victoria Azarenka after losing the first set by a break. This proved to be her last match of the year; and without being able to defend the points won at Shenzhen the previous November, she found her year-end ranking settling to 35.
The year 2006 began disappointingly for Peng. She lost her first-round ties at Sydney (a tough draw against Ana Ivanovic) and the Australian Open, then withdrew from subsequent tournaments with sickness. As of March 4, she was yet to play again; and the loss of her previous year's ranking points at Sydney and the Australian Open had conspired to displace her to 60th in the world rankings, a moderate decline that cannot reasonably be expected to be irreversible, in view of the tremendous promise she has shown. She has since proven this promise in 2006, reaching the semifinals of a Tier-IV tournament in Prague, a final in a Tier-III tournament in Strasbourg, third round showing at Wimbledon (including a victory over a top-20 player in Shahar Pe'er) and finally progress in her Fed Cup career, winning both her ties against Indonesia.
2007 was slightly more successful for Peng than her previous year as she finished ranked within the world's top 50. Peng began her year by qualifying for the Sydney tournament and reaching the second round of the Australian Open for the second time, losing a tight match to top-ten player Patty Schnyder.
In early February, she reached the semifinals of the Tier-III Pattaya Open, losing to Sybille Bammer, she also lost to Bammer in the third round of her next event in Indian Wells. Peng reached the third round of Tier-I events in Toronto, Berlin, Indian Wells and Charleston recording a win over the previous year's finalist Patty Schnyder. Peng was forced to retire from her tightly contested third-round match in Berlin against world No. 6, Jelena Janković, and returned to competitive play at Wimbledon, losing in straight sets to qualifier Hana Šromová. She once again failed to get past the first round of the US Open, losing in three sets to a resurgent Flavia Pennetta.
At the China Open, Peng beat former world No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion, Martina Hingis, in the final match of her professional career, winning 7–5, 6–1. She also beat third seed Amélie Mauresmo en route to her second semifinal of the year. In the autumn Peng suffered a surprising loss in Tier-III Guangzhou to Tzipora Obziler and in the qualification tournament for Luxembourg to former top-ten player Alicia Molik. She qualified to the main draw of Zurich before losing in three sets to Marion Bartoli.
Peng finished the year with a 26–21 record in singles, a doubles title in Guangzhou with Yan Zi and one top-ten win (against Mauresmo).
On January 4, 2008, Peng, ranked No. 45, beat top-seed Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals of the silver group (a competition among all first matches losers) of an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong.
This form was not to last as she then failed to win a match in her next six tournaments, including a first round loss at the Australian Open. Peng finally recorded her first win of the year at the Tier-II Bangalore Open against Anne Kremer before losing in three sets to Venus Williams, she also won the doubles title with Sun Tiantian. She then upset 23rd seed Karin Knapp to reach the third round at Indian Wells.
Peng suffered two surprising losses in singles play against Spain in the Fed Cup semifinals, losing to Nuria Llagostera Vives and to Carla Suárez Navarro. China subsequently lost the tie in front of the home crowd. At Strasbourg, Peng reached her first quarterfinal of the year and recorded a top-ten win when Marion Bartoli was forced to retire in round one while trailing 6–1, 1–0.
At Grand Slam tournament-level, Peng reached the second round in Paris and the third round of Wimbledon for the second time in her career, losing third round to Alla Kudryavtseva despite winning more points. She also reached the second round of the US Open for the first time in her career, defeating Eleni Daniilidou in straight sets before losing to eventual quarterfinalist Flavia Pennetta in three sets for the second year in a row.
At the Summer Olympics, she competed in the women's singles, and the women's doubles with Sun Tiantian. The doubles pair were knocked out in the first round, and Peng lost to Alizé Cornet in the second round of the singles.
After the US Open her ranking climbed up to No. 40, her highest since Wimbledon 2007. Prior to the US Open, Peng reached her first singles final since Strasbourg 2006 at Tier-IV Forest Hills Tennis Classic, before losing in straight sets to Lucie Šafářová. At the Beijing Olympics, Peng got revenge for her Fed Cup defeat by defeating Suárez Navarro in round one before losing to Alizé Cornet of France.
In early 2009, Peng announced that she will be coached full-time for the 2009 season by Tarik Benhabiles. Peng won the Sydney doubles title with Hsieh Su-wei, defeating Nathalie Dechy and Casey Dellacqua in the final. Peng defeated 28th seed Francesca Schiavone in the first round of the Australian Open and Bulgarian qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva in the second. She lost to second seed and eventual champion Serena Williams in the third round, in two sets. She played doubles with Hsieh, they made the quarterfinals losing to the Williams sisters in three sets.
At the Italian Open in May, Peng partnered with Hsieh once again and won the doubles title as the seventh seed by defeating fifth seeded Daniela Hantuchová and Ai Sugiyama, in two close sets. At the French Open, Peng was seeded 31 but was knocked out in the first round by unseeded clay specialist María José Martínez Sánchez, in three sets. However, in doubles, partnering Hsieh Su-wei once again, and as the ninth seeds, have made it into the semifinals by defeating seventh-seeded Hantuchová & Sugiyama in the third round, and unseeded Radwańska sisters in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they lost to 12th-seeded team of Victoria Azarenka and Elena Vesnina.
At Wimbledon, Peng was unseeded and defeated US teenager Alexa Glatch in three sets. She fell to No. 11 Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round, after a mammoth battle of three and a half hours. Despite saving five match points, she eventually lost in three sets. Her 'never say die' attitude won her the admiration of many English fans.
At the US Open, unseeded Peng defeated Jarmila Groth in straight sets. However, in the next round, she lost to eventual semifinalist, Yanina Wickmayer, also unseeded, in three sets after having a one break lead in the third set.
During the China Open, after beating qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova, Peng went on to beat 2008 China Open champion and former world No. 1, Jelena Janković, in a thrilling encounter, after Janković had picked up a wrist injury in the latter stages of the match. In the third round, Peng came face to face with another former world No. 1, Maria Sharapova, which Peng managed to win in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, she lost to Nadia Petrova, winning the first set 7–6, but then started to feel pains in her leg, losing the next two sets. However, in doubles, Peng partnered with Hsieh and won the title, bringing her ranking to a career high of 13. By her good performance there, her singles ranking rose up to 42 in the world.
Peng began her 2010 world tour with a first-round loss at Brisbane to Hungarian Ágnes Szávay. At Hobart, Peng defeated Sorana Cîrstea in the first round before she fell to fellow Chinese Zheng Jie. At the Australian Open, Peng was once again drawn against Zheng Jie. She took the first set 6–0 but could not hold the lead, losing the next two sets.
Peng then travelled to the US to compete at the Indian Wells Open. In the first round, she outlasted Ekaterina Makarova, beating her 6–1, 2–6, 6–4. In the second round, she defeated 20th seed Alona Bondarenko before losing to 16th seed Nadia Petrova in the third. Unseeded at the Miami Open, she defeated Vania King in the first round. In the second, Peng faced top seed and world No. 4, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and lost to Kuznetsova. It was the fourth time that she lost in the second round at Miami.
At the Ponte Vedra Beach Championships, Peng was unseeded again and defeated Chang Kai-chen in the first round after being 1–4 down in the first set. In the second round, she was defeated by eighth-seeded American Melanie Oudin. Peng then competed at the Charleston Cup where she defeated Shenay Perry in the opening round and fifth seed Marion Bartoli in the second round. Bartoli retired at 6–2, 6–7, 3–4 to allow Peng to move into the third round, where she defeated tenth seed Elena Vesnina. In the quarterfinals, she was defeated by fourth seed Samantha Stosur despite being up a break 4–2 in the first set.
Seeded seventh at the Estoril Open, Peng eased past Julie Coin to book a second-round encounter with Tatjana Malek, which she also won in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, Peng defeated fourth seed and clay-court specialist Anabel Medina Garrigues in a match lasting three hours. She was defeated by Anastasija Sevastova in the semifinals, in three sets. Peng then received a wildcard into the Premier Mandatory Madrid Open. In the first round, she was 3–0 up against tenth seed Victoria Azarenka before she retired due to a right adductor strain. In the second round, Peng was defeated by fellow double-hander Arantxa Parra Santonja.
Peng then withdrew from the French Open and missed the whole of the grass-court season due to illness. She entered the Budapest Grand Prix after her long illness break. In the first round, she defeated Silvia Njirić but fell to Sevastova in the second.
In the US Open, Peng advanced to the third round by beating wildcard Shelby Rogers in the first round and ninth seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round. Peng withdrew from the tournament before next match with injury, handing Andrea Petkovic a place in the fourth round. She then suffered two first-round exits at the Pan Pacific Open and the China Open. In Tokyo, she lost to Christina McHale in the first round of qualifying. In the first round of Beijing, where she made the quarterfinals in 2009, Peng lost to Sara Errani. This loss caused her to drop to No. 95 in the world.
Unseeded at the Luxembourg Open, Peng drew top-seed and world No. 9, Elena Dementieva, in the first round. Peng played a great match and led 5–1 in the second set, but Dementieva launched a comeback and won 7–5, 7–6. This was Peng's last WTA Tour match of the 2010 season. She continued on the ITF Circuit with a trophy at the $100k event in Taipei, played on carpet. Along the way Peng defeated Bojana Jovanovski in the quarterfinals, Tamarine Tanasugarn in the semifinals and Ayumi Morita in the final.
Peng ended season representing China in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. She won a gold medal in the team event alongside teammates Li Na, Yan Zi and Zhang Shuai. In the doubles event, she gained a bronze medal with her partner Yan Zi, and in the singles event, she won another gold medal, defeating Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan in two sets.
Peng kicked off her 2011 season at the Auckland Open where she was unseeded and defeated Johanna Larsson in the first round 6–1, 6–3. In the second round, she caused a big upset by defeating No. 3 seed Kuznetsova, after being a double break down 0–3 in the final set. In the quarterfinals, she defeated British qualifier Heather Watson. Despite playing some of her best tennis in the semifinals, Peng lost to defending champion and No. 2 seed, Yanina Wickmayer in 2 hours and 53 minutes. In the first round of the Hobart International, Peng took out No. 3 seed Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round. She then defeated qualifier Olga Govortsova, and No. 7 seed Sara Errani in straight sets to move into her second semifinal of 2011 where she lost to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in three.
At the Australian Open, Peng was unseeded and defeated Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round. She then toppled seventh seed Jelena Janković in the second round. She then moved into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career after a three-set win over Ayumi Morita. In the fourth round, Peng was defeated in a hard-fought match against 12th seed Agnieszka Radwańska, despite having two match points at 5–4 in the final set. After her fourth round performance, her ranking rose to No. 40, making her the second highest-ranked Chinese player after Li Na, since Zheng Jie slipped down the rankings after not being able to defend her semifinal points.
Peng's next tournament was the Pattaya Open. She was seeded sixth and defeated Chan Yung-jan in the first round and in the second round she defeated Elena Baltacha. In the quarterfinals, she was narrowly defeated by top seed Vera Zvonareva despite being up 4–3, 40–15 in the final set. At the Dubai Championships, Peng entered the qualifying draw as the No. 2 seed and defeated wildcard Vanessa Henke in the first round 6–1, 6–0. She then qualified for the main draw with a win over No. 11 seed Kateryna Bondarenko. Peng got her revenge on Mattek-Sands in the first round, defeating her this time in three sets. However, she was defeated by No. 7 seed Azarenka in the second round, in 2 hours and 23 minutes.
Peng qualified for the main draw of the Qatar Open. Seeded No. 3, she defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives, Anastasia Rodionova, and Elena Vesnina. In the first round of the main draw, she defeated Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets. In the second round, she played No. 3 seed Francesca Schiavone, whom she defeated. In the quarterfinals, faced Marion Bartoli, losing in straight sets, for the first time in the season.
Peng then entered the Indian Wells Open, narrowly missed out on being seeded, and defeated Renata Voráčová in the first round. In the second round, she defeated No. 7 seed Li Na for the first time in her career. In the third round, she came back from 2–5 down in the final set to beat Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecká. In the fourth round, she battled past 18th seed Nadia Petrova, 16th seed Maria Sharapova defeated her 6–2, 5–7, 6–3 in a 2-hour 22 minute quarterfinal match. Peng moved up to No. 32 in the world as a result, one spot off her career high of 31. Her next tournament was the Miami Open. Unseeded, she defeated Gréta Arn in the first round 6–1, 6–2, and followed that up with a win against 20th seed Aravane Rezaï in the second round 6–0, 6–4. She then defeated 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–3, 6–1 in the third round, avenging her loss to the same player at this event the previous year. Peng then fell to 26th seed Alexandra Dulgheru 3–6, 4–6 but reached the semifinals of the doubles competition with Shahar Pe'er.
Peng rose to a new career-high ranking of No. 30 and was seeded 11th at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. In the first round, she defeated qualifier Sloane Stephens 6–2, 6–1, and in the second round Ayumi Morita, with the same score. In the third round, she outlasted seventh seed Nadia Petrova to reach the quarterfinals where she defeated Indian qualifier Sania Mirza. Elena Vesnina upset her in the semifinals. Due to her good performance, Peng rose to a new career high of 29 in the world rankings. After a short break, Peng resumed competition at the Madrid Open where she was defeated by No. 3 seed Francesca Schiavone in a narrow two-setter. This was Peng's first first-round defeat of 2011. In the first round of the Italian Open in Rome, she was defeated by American qualifier Christina McHale in just under three hours. However, Peng won the doubles title alongside Zheng Jie, defeating No. 3 seeds Yaroslava Shvedova and Vania King, in straight sets.
Peng played her final warm-up tournament prior to Roland Garros at the Brussels Open as the No. 8 seed. In the first round, she defeated Kirsten Flipkens and then destroying qualifier Abigail Spears 6–2, 6–0 in the second round. In the quarterfinals, Peng's good form continued with a two-set-defeat of Sofia Arvidsson. In the semifinals, Peng secured her first victory over current world No. 3, Vera Zvonareva, in straight sets to reach her first Premier final and fourth final of her career. In the final, Peng eventually fell to world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, in three sets. At the French Open, Peng defeated Tamira Paszek of Austria in the first round, and in the second Polona Hercog. In the third round, she was up against defending champion Francesca Schiavone, but retiring due to illness. She broke into the top 20 after her run in the French Open.
Peng then moved onto grass and played the Birmingham Classic, reaching the semifinals with wins over Naomi Broady, Heather Watson and Marina Erakovic before falling to eventual champion Sabine Lisicki in straight sets. Peng also competed at the Eastbourne International, falling to third seed Azarenka in the first round. At Wimbledon, Peng defeated Kirsten Flipkens in the first round 6–0, 6–4 and reached the third round by defeating local hope Elena Baltacha. She beat Melinda Czink in the third round and faced the fifth seed, Maria Sharapova, in the round of 16, losing to the eventual runner-up in straight sets.
Posting good results at Cincinnati, where she reached the quarterfinals defeating Peer in the third round but then had to retire hurt, Peng reached another career-high ranking of world No. 14, before the US Open, where she was seeded 13th. At the last stop of the US Open Series, the inaugural Texas Tennis Open as the No. 1 seed in the draw, Peng was forced to withdraw with an injury. Seeded 13th at the US Open, Peng defeated Varvara Lepchenko in the first round. She followed this up beating former Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova. She advanced to the fourth round for the first time with a win over 19th seed Julia Görges but lost to Flavia Pennetta in the round of 16, after holding four set points in the second set tiebreak. Even though she had an impressive run in the US Open, her ranking fell from 14 to 15.
Seedeed 12th in the China Open, Peng lost to Flavia Pennetta in two sets. Peng then received a wildcard into the Bali Commonwealth Championships and drew Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinal. She lost to the Russian 4–6, 3–6. Despite the loss, she ended the year ranked 15 in the world. 2011 has been the most successful year in her career.
Peng began 2012 at Auckland as the No. 2 seed. In the opening round, she defeated qualifier Aravane Rezaï before losing in the second round to Lucie Hradecká. In the first round of Sydney she lost to Dominika Cibulková. In the first round of the Australian Open she drew French wildcard Aravane Rezaï and this time she beat her more comfortably. However, in some what of an upset, Peng was beaten in round two by Iveta Benešová. So she did not defend her fourth-round points from last year. Peng next played Fed Cup for China where they were victorious.
At the Qatar Open, she beat Fatma Al-Nabhani in the first round. In the second, she came up against Christina McHale and was beaten in three sets. Up next was Dubai Championships and in the first round she faced sixth seed Marion Bartoli and in somewhat of a shock because of the run Marion has been on, the Chinese beat her in straight sets. Peng, however, lost in the second round to Daniela Hantuchová. She competed in the Malaysian Open where she was seeded third and beat Yvonne Meusburger in three sets. Peng then lost in the quarterfinals in a tight three-setter against Petra Martić, who went on to reach the final. At Indian Wells, where she was seeded 17th, she got a bye in the first round, but lost to Ksenia Pervak in the second.
Peng then took a month's break from the game and returned to play in the Madrid Open. However, Peng has not been able to capture the success she got in 2011 and fell in the first round to Lucie Hradecká. In Rome, Peng was beaten in the early rounds. She next played the warm-up tournament to Roland Garros in Brussels where she has final points to defend. She was seeded eighth and up against Sofia Arvidsson. Peng lost in the first round in two sets.
Then she played the Wimbledon Championships as the 30th seed, where she beat Sandra Zaniewska, Ayumi Morita and Arantxa Rus to reach her second consecutive round of 16. She lost to Maria Kirilenko in three sets. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the women's singles and the women's doubles with Zheng Jie. She reached the second round, losing to Petra Kvitová, and her doubles pairing reached the quarterfinals.
2013: Wimbledon and Tour Championships doubles champions
Peng started her 2013 season by playing in the new Shenzhen Open where she reached the semifinals comfortably. She faced fellow Chinese player Li Na where she lost in two sets. She next played the Hobart International, where she stunned first seed Hsieh Su-wei in the opening round before losing in the second round in three sets against Monica Niculescu. Peng then competed in the Australian Open where she won her first round easily by beating Canadian Rebecca Marino, but she lost to Maria Kirilenko in the second round in two sets.
After a few weeks off from the tour, Peng returned to Indian Wells, where she reached the third round losing to Sam Stosur. She then played the Miami Open, where she defeated Sofia Arvidsson in the opening round but lost to Petra Kvitová in the second.
Peng then started the clay-court season by competing in the qualifying event for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. She lost in the second round and failed to qualify. At Portugal, she was drawn against the top seed Marion Bartoli. Both women were nervous on clay and this topsy-turvy match ended with Peng winning 6–0, 1–6, 6–4. Her next opponent was Romina Oprandi from Switzerland where she lost in two sets. In the Madrid Open, Peng lost in the first round against qualifier Christina McHale. Peng then travelled to Rome for the Italian Open where she was defeated in the second by Sam Stosur. Peng then competed in the Brussels Open, where she reached the final by defeating Sofia Arvidsson, Olga Govortsova, Sloane Stephens and Romina Oprandi. Unfortunately, Peng's defeat in finals continued as she lost to Kaia Kanepi. At Roland Garros, Peng lost in the second round to seventh seed Petra Kvitová.
In Wimbledon, she lost to Marina Erakovic in the second round in straight sets. In the US Open Series, she lost back-to-back against Caroline Wozniacki in the first rounds of the Western & Southern Open and New Haven Open. At the US Open, she lost in the second round against Kuznetsova in three sets. In the Asian swing, she lost to qualifier Johanna Konta in the second round of Guangzhou International, to Madison Keys in the second round of Pan Pacific Open as well as to wildcard holder and countrywomen Zhang Shuai in the opening round of China Open. Her last event of the year was Luxembourg Open where she lost to the fifth seed Lucie Šafářová. She ended the year with a ranking of No. 45 in the world.
On the other hand, Peng began her huge success as a doubles player from 2013. Paired with her long-time friend from childhood Hsieh Su-wei, Peng clinched five double's titles in 2013, including two Premier-5 events (Rome and Cincinnati), Wimbledon and WTA Championships. Peng became the first Chinese player to win the WTA Tour Championships, and the fifth to win a Grand Slam title, after Zheng Jie, Yan Zi, Sun Tiantian and Li Na.
2014: World No. 1 in doubles; French Open doubles title; first major singles semifinal
Peng reached the final in the Shenzhen Open and lost to Li Na. At the Australian Open, she lost in the opening round to Kurumi Nara in the opening round. She also lost in the second round in the doubles event against Shahar Pe'er and Sílvia Soler Espinosa in three sets with Hsieh. Peng then won two consecutive doubles titles, winning the Pattaya Open with Zhang Shuai defeating Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova in the final, and winning the Qatar Open with Hsieh Su-wei defeating Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the final. On 17 February, Peng became the world No. 1 in doubles, making her the first Chinese tennis player (man or woman, in singles or doubles) to reach world No. 1. Peng and Hsieh continued their success by winning three more titles in the season, including two Premiere Mandatory events (Indian Wells and Beijing) and French Open. In the Wimbledon Championships, they failed in defending their title and also lost their No. 1 ranking.
However, since Wimbledon, Peng somehow found her pace in the games and made several of her best appearance in the singles events. She reached the last 16 in a major event after two years at the Wimbledon Championships. She also clinched title in the 125K event in Nanchang. At the US Open, Peng made her first Grand Slam singles quarterfinal and semifinal appearances, defeating compatriot Zheng Jie, fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwańska, 28th-seeded Roberta Vinci, 14th-seeded Lucie Šafářová, and rising star Belinda Bencic en route, all in straight sets. Unfortunately, she had to retire against 10th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinal at 6–7, 3–4 down, when she suffered severe cramps due to heat illness and had to be taken off court in a wheelchair. She skipped playing the following Hong Kong Open to recover, but made promotional appearances there. She came back in the Wuhan Open and lost to Mona Barthel in the first round. In the China Open, she lost to third seed Petra Kvitová in straight sets. In the Tianjin Open, she reached the semifinal and retired against Belinda Bencic.
Peng and Hsieh entered the WTA Finals as the second seed. They beat Garbiñe Muguruza/Carla Suárez Navarro and Alla Kudryavtseva/Anastasia Rodionova in straight sets to reach the final. However, they lost disastrously to Cara Black/Sania Mirza. They pairing then came to conclusion as Peng had previously announced during the US Open.
Peng had a difficult 2015 season. Due to injuries, she had a lot of first round or second round losses. Her best performance of the season was fourth round of the Australian Open, which tied her best performance. As the 21st seed, Peng beat German qualifier Tatjana Maria in the opening round, Magdaléna Rybáriková in the second rond and Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, all in straight sets. In the fourth round match, she lost to second seed and the eventual runner-up Maria Sharapova by 3–6, 0–6.
More weirdly, Peng failed to win even one doubles match in 2015. She started the season with her Tianjin teammate Xu Yifan in preparation for the 2016 Olympics, but ended up losing in the first round matches in the Shenzhen Open and Australian Open. Especially, in their first-round match in the Australian Open against the 15th seed, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Casey Dellacqua, they wasted a 6–4, 5–0 lead, two match points in the second set and three more in the twelfth game of the final set and eventually lost to their opponents. Peng was particularly frustrated by Xu, who was constantly attacked by their opponents and making a lot of unforced errors, and decided to split the partnership. She played two more tournaments, with Květa Peschke at Dubai and Zarina Diyas at Madrid, but was not able to win a set.
After the first round retirement to Polona Hercog in the first round of French Open, Peng announced the end of her 2015 season due to injuries in her back and waist.
2016: Comeback with first WTA singles title
Peng returned to the tour in Indian Wells. She suffered from a number of early exits in several events, including the first-round loss in the Olympic Games. In the Asian swing, Peng gradually improved her level. In the China Open, Peng defeated sixth seed Venus Williams in the first round by straight sets, and lost in close match to Caroline Garcia in the second round. In the Tianjin Open, she clinched her first ever WTA singles title with a wildcard. As a resident in Tianjin, she received a withdraw from seventh seed and compatriot Zhang Shuai in the beginning round. In the second round, she defeated qualifier Chang Kai-chen in straight sets. She benefited from the withdraw from the top seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarterfinal and beat Danka Kovinić from Montenegro in a tight three-setter semifinal, which lasted for two days due to rain delays. Peng had to play final several hours after the semifinal against the 2014 champion Alison Riske, in which she won in two sets. She also won the doubles-final match with Christina McHale.
Peng started the season in the Shenzhen Open, where she lost to the eventual champion, Kateřina Siniaková, in the opening round. In the doubles event, she clinched her 21st title with Andrea Hlaváčková without losing a set. She then competed in the Australian Open. In the first round, she stunned the 23rd seed Daria Kasatkina in straight sets, before losing to Eugenie Bouchard. In the doubles event, as the 12th seed, Peng and Hlavackova reached the final without dropping a set, defeating third seed and Olympic champion Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina and top-seed Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic en route. In the final, they lost a tight match against the 2015 champion Mattek-Sands/Šafářová, in three sets.
Peng then competed in the Taiwan Open, where she reached her eighth WTA final without losing a set. In the final, she lost to the top seed and world No. 13 Elina Svitolina, who was under her 15-match winning streak, in straight sets. In the Dubai Championships, she defeated Lesia Tsurenko and ninth seed Barbora Strýcová in the opening rounds, before losing to Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in the third round. She also reached final in the doubles event with Hlavackova and lost to Vesnina/Makarova with a match tie-break. At Indian Wells, as a qualifier, Peng stunned 31st seed Ana Konjuh in the second round and sixth seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the third round before she lost to 12th seed Venus Williams in a close three-setter. Peng played the Madrid Open, where she fell in the first round against Suárez Navarro.
On 8 August 2018, Peng was banned for "coercing her partner" receiving a six-month suspension with three months of the ban suspended, and fined $10,000 with $5,000 suspended following an investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit, for attempting to change her doubles partner by offering the possibility of a financial reward in return for her partner agreeing to withdraw, after the deadline had passed, at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships. Bertrand Perret her coach was also banned for three months.
Peng started her 2020 season at the Shenzhen Open. She lost in the second round to fifth seed and eventual champion, Ekaterina Alexandrova. In Hobart, she and Zhang Shuai reached the doubles final and lost to Nadiia Kichenok/Sania Mirza.
Peng utilises her double-handed play style to create flat groundstrokes with which she can catch her opponents off-guard. Also she employs good net skills.
Accusation of being sexually assaulted/ Disappearance
On 2 November 2021, Peng posted a lengthy message on her verified Weibo microblog account, accusing Zhang Gaoli, a former senior Chinese vice premier and high-ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), of sexual assault, three years earlier. Peng said that Zhang had an on-off extramarital affair with her. This was the first time a member of the top echelons of the CCP faced such sexual misconduct allegations in public.
The accusation drew attention to the #MeToo movement in China. Her post was removed from Weibo within 20 minutes of being uploaded, although screenshots of the posting were saved. All discussion about the matter became subject to blanket censorship on all Chinese social media and news outlets. Since her accusation, and as of 17 November 2021, she has not communicated on social media. When asked about Peng's whereabouts, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said "I have not heard of the issue you raised. This is not a diplomatic question".
On 14 November, the chief executive of WTA Steve Simon called on Chinese authorities to investigate Peng's allegations and also called for an end to official Chinese censorship on the subject. The Chinese Tennis Association sent a confirmation to WTA to inform that Peng is safe and not under any physical threat. However Simon stated that no one associated with the WTA, including officials and active players, had been able to reach her directly to confirm her status.
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi also issued a statement where he expressed deep concern by the uncertainty surrounding the immediate safety and whereabouts of Peng. He also expressed his full support to WTA's investigation into Peng's allegations while stating that they will continue to monitor the situation closely. On 15 November, tennis player Novak Djokovic expressed his shock on Peng's disappearance, in comments to reporters after winning his ATP Finals opener. On 16 November, tennis player Naomi Osaka posted a message on Twitter where she demanded answers about the whereabouts of Peng and her allegation of sexual assault.
On November 17, Chinese state-affiliated media CGTN released an email allegedly written by Peng to chief executive of WTA Steve Simon, which stated that she is resting at home and that her allegation of sexual assault is not true, and that she was not missing. The email also criticized the WTA for releasing what it claimed was unverified information about Peng without her consent. The authenticity of the email was cast in doubt with many pointing out that a typing cursor appears to be visible on the screenshot of the email. Responding in regard to the email, Simon stated that it only raises his concerns as to her safety and whereabouts. He reiterated that Peng's sexual assault allegation must be investigated "with full transparency and without censorship".
Grand Slam performance timelines
|Australian Open||A||2R||1R||2R||1R||3R||1R||4R||2R||2R||1R||4R||A||2R||1R||1R||1R||A||0 / 15||13–15||46%|
|French Open||Q3||2R||2R||A||2R||1R||A||3R||3R||2R||1R||1R||A||1R||2R||Q1||A||A||0 / 11||9–11||45%|
|Wimbledon||1R||A||3R||1R||3R||2R||A||4R||4R||2R||4R||A||1R||3R||1R||Q1||NH||A||0 / 12||17–12||59%|
|US Open||Q1||1R||1R||1R||2R||2R||3R||4R||1R||2R||SF||A||1R||2R||A||2R||A||A||0 / 13||15–13||54%|
|Win–Loss||0–1||2–3||3–4||1–3||4–4||4–4||2–2||11–4||6–4||4–4||8–4||3–2||0–2||4–4||1–3||1–2||0–1||0–0||0 / 51||54–51||51%|
|Titles||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||Career total: 2|
|Finals||0||0||1||0||2||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||Career total: 9|
|Australian Open||A||3R||2R||2R||2R||QF||3R||3R||1R||3R||2R||1R||1R||F||SF||1R||1R||A||0 / 16||24–16|
|French Open||A||1R||2R||A||3R||SF||A||2R||3R||2R||W||A||A||3R||1R||1R||A||A||1 / 11||19–10|
|Wimbledon||A||A||2R||QF||1R||1R||A||QF||1R||W||3R||A||2R||A||2R||1R||NH||A||1 / 11||18–10|
|US Open||QF||2R||1R||2R||3R||2R||2R||1R||QF||QF||3R||A||A||SF||A||2R||A||A||0 / 13||22–13|
|Win–Loss||3–1||3–3||3–4||5–3||5–4||8–4||3–2||6–4||5–4||12–3||11–3||0–1||1–2||12–4||4–1||1–4||0–1||0–0||2 / 51||83–49|
|WTA Finals||Did Not Qualify||W||F||Did Not Qualify||1 / 2||4–1|
|Titles||0||0||0||1||2||3||0||1||0||5||5||0||3||1||0||2||0||0||Career total: 23|
|Finals||0||0||0||2||2||3||2||1||0||5||6||0||3||3||1||3||1||0||Career total: 32|
Grand Slam tournaments
Doubles: 3 (2 titles, 1 runner-up)
|Win||2013||Wimbledon||Grass||Hsieh Su-wei|| Ashleigh Barty
|Win||2014||French Open||Clay||Hsieh Su-wei|| Sara Errani
|Loss||2017||Australian Open||Hard||Andrea Hlaváčková|| Bethanie Mattek-Sands
|7–6, 3–6, 3–6|
Doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)
|Win||2013||WTA Finals, Istanbul||Hard (i)||Hsieh Su-wei|| Ekaterina Makarova
|Loss||2014||WTA Finals, Singapore||Hard (i)||Hsieh Su-wei|| Cara Black