Peng Shuai defeats Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic and advances to the US Open semifinals.
It is the 37th time she has been to the quarterfinals in one of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, but the very first time she has won. Now she advances to the semifinals.
Being a tennis star in China hasn’t been easy on Peng. She and many other athletes find their career paths hindered, due to a system where sports must obey communist political dictates. That’s why few potential Chinese tennis stars have been seen in international competition.
The Chinese Tennis Association has been criticized for its policies by Peng, and especially by China’s other tennis star, Li Na. Li Na is the better of the two, but sits out of competition with a knee injury. Li Na took home the Australian Open championship earlier this year.
Perhaps the struggles and successes of these two female Chinese tennis stars can help break open the iron gates to more tennis success for Chinese athletes.