Peng disappointed following fourth-round defeat at Australian Open
Updated: 2015-01-26 09:14
Peng Shuai of China crouches after playing a shot to Maria Sharapova of Russia during their women's singles fourth round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 25, 2015. Peng lost the match to Sharapova. [Photo/Agencies]
MELBOURNE - China's top ranked women's tennis player, Peng Shuai, has revealed she is disappointed to exit the Australian Open after a fourth-round defeat to Maria Sharapova on Sunday.
Peng, who was the 22nd seed at the Australian Open, equaled her best ever result at the tournament after qualifying for the fourth round with consecutive straight sets victories over Tatjana Maria, Magdalena Rybarikova and Yaroslava Shvedova.
However, Sharapova proved a difference in class as the five- time Grand Slam champion eased into the quarter finals.
Speaking exclusively to Xinhua following her 3-6, 0-6 defeat to the world No.2, Peng said that although she is satisfied with her performances throughout the Australian Open, she is upset not to go further in the competition.
"For sure, I wanted to go further," Peng told Xinhua on Sunday. "Making the fourth round was my best (result) at the Australian Open."
"Before the match, I just wanted to play well and today was not going too good with my serve and she's a very good player," Peng said.
"The (fourth round) is not bad, but it's not good. I want to get better for the next tournament and keep working and try to improve more," she added.
Despite holding in her first two service games of the match, Peng would only win one of the remaining 11 games to fall to a hard fought defeat.
Afterwards, Peng told Xinhua she did not feel she was serving at her best.
"At the start, it was okay with my serve, but she played well," Peng said. adding "In the second set, I didn't like my service game. I had one chance at deuce and one chance at 40-15 but didn't take it. After that, she played well."
After a relatively successful 2014, when she qualified for the semi-final of the U.S. Open and the fourth round of Wimbledon, as well as making the final of the Shenzhen Open, Peng was happy to enter this year's tournament inside the WTA top 32.
"I was happy to be seeded this year, so for the first time I didn't have to play a seeded player in the first round," Peng said. "It was very different."
Last year, Li Na became the first Chinese player to ever win the Australian Open when she recorded a 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 victory over Dominika Cibulkova.
However, Peng does not feel a burden of expectation placed on her shoulders in representing China following Li's retirement.
Instead, she hopes to create her own history by winning titles and reclaiming a place inside the WTA's top-ranked players.
"She (Li) had an amazing result and in China, with the fans, everyone was so excited," Peng told Xinhua.
"For me, I just have to practice. I don't like thinking about it too much, but it's good. She made tennis more popular in China, " Peng said, adding that "But it doesn't make me feel more pressure. I just want to keep working hard."
"We're from the same country and the way she made Chinese fans feel is good and I also enjoyed it," Peng said.