US Open 2014: Belinda Bencic’s teenage dream crushed by brutal Shuai Peng
17-year-old was beaten 6-2, 6-1
Three teenagers have lit up the women’s tournament here at the US Open but in the space of 24 hours all of them suffered the pain of defeat. Belinda Bencic’s run to the quarter-finals was ended by Shuai Peng, Aleksandra Krunic, who had knocked out Petra Kvitova in the third round, lost in three sets to Victoria Azarenka, and Catherine Bellis, the 15-year-old who beat Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round, fell in the junior competition.
Peng crushed Bencic 6-2, 6-1 in a one-sided contest in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Bencic, aged 17, was unable to find the form that had seen her put out two top 10 players in Angelique Kerber and Jelena Jankovic in her previous two matches. Yet, it has been an outstanding year for last year’s Wimbledon junior champion, who began the season as the world No 212. She has already climbed to No 58 and will make further progress next week.
Peng, the world No 39, had never previously gone beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam event. The 28-year-old has spent most of her career in the shadow of her fellow countrywoman, Li Na, who became the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title. Peng will now meet the winner of the final match between Caroline Wozniacki and Sara Errani.
Krunic lost late on Monday night, Azarenka recovering from a slow start to beat the 21-year-old Serb 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Bellis, the youngest player to win a match at the US Open for 18 years when she beat Cibulkova, lost 7-6, 2-6, 6-1 to Natalia Vikhlyantseva, a 17-year-old Russian, in the junior event.
Serena Williams lost in the doubles alongside her sister Venus. The world No 1 double-faulted on the last two points against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina and took a medical time-out because of a problem with her right foot. She meets Flavia Pennetta in the singles quarter-finals on Wednesday.
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