Peng sets up Zvonareva date
Peng Shuai (Associated Press)
Brussels - China's Peng Shuai has shrugged off her first round defeats in Madrid and Rome to reach the Brussels Open semi-finals where she will tackle world No 2 Vera Zvonareva for a place in the final.
Peng, the eighth seed, enjoyed a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson in Thursday's quarter-finals, winning the first set in 28 minutes then rallying from 1-3 to close out her opponent.
"I'm happy," Peng said. "I won and lost against Sofia before, so I knew how she played and knew she was very tough.
"She hits the ball hard so I had to handle her power and try to control the rallies when I could, and make her move too. I was a little bit tight when she broke me in the second set but I'm happy I won."
Second seed Zvonareva took just 47 minutes to cruise to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Romanian seventh seed Alexandra Dulgheru.
Zvonareva dominates Peng in their head-to-head series, 7-0.
The other semi-final will be an all-star match-up between the world number one Caroline Wozniacki and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
Top seed Wozniacki reached the last four when her Belgian opponent Yanina Wickmayer retired after two games with a low back injury while Schiavone saw off Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-2, 6-3.
"To see Yanina hurting on the other side with Roland Garros coming up next week, it's not fun to win that way," Wozniacki said. "But I'm looking forward to the semi-finals now. Francesca will be a good challenge for me."
Results on Thursday at the Brussels Open (seedings in parentheses):
Peng Shuai (8), China, def. Sofia Arvidsson, Sweden, 6-2, 6-4.
Vera Zvonareva (2), Russia, def. Alexandra Dulgheru (7), Romania, 6-0, 6-1.
Caroline Wozniacki (1), Denmark, def. Yanina Wickmayer (6), Belgium, 2-0, retired.
Francesca Schiavone (3), Italy, def. Ayumi Morita, Japan, 6-2, 6-3.