Dayana Yastremska eases past Shuai Peng to reach Tianjin Open quarterfinals

Third seed Dayana Yastremska has made the last eight at the Tianjin Open, brushing aside 2016 champion Shuai Peng. The 19-year-old Ukrainian hit 32 winners as compared to Peng’s six as well as six aces to reach the quarterfinals for a fifth time in 2019, where she will face Veronika Kudermetova of Russia.

Both players were solid on serve to begin with Yastremska firing off some of her usual dazzling winners through the first four games until the teenage superstar broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Ukranian survived a difficult service game to hold, saving a break point, the forehand doing most of the damage, to take a 4-2 advantage.

Peng was being repeatedly victimized by the Yastremska groundstrokes, the backhand now dialed in as the Ukranian rallied to break the Chinese for a second time after being behind 40-30 in the game and served out the set to 30 with another brilliant backhand winner to claim it 6-2, Peng left helpless to her opponent’s incredible array of talent.

Yastremska kept the momentum going as she broke to love to open the second set and fought off a break point to consolidate her lead at 2-0. Peng responded with an easy hold (a rarity for her in this match) and a break after steering a backhand down the line on break point, the set suddenly level at 2-2 out of seemingly nowhere.

Both players held for 3-3 and it was the teenager showing her full arsenal to break, a backhand-forehand combination finishing the point and game for a 4-3 edge. Peng would battle to 30-30 on the Yastremska serve, but she pulled out a backhand from the top drawer to set a game point, which she converted for a 5-3 lead.

After a Peng hold, Yastremska toed the line to serve out the match and proceeded to rip off two more winners to quickly get to 30-0. The 2016 champion fought, but on match point, the 19-year old bludgeoned one final backhand down the line that just dropped in to seal the match, her 32nd winner sending her to the quarterfinals while also serving as a preview of the continued brilliance to come.

Following the match, Yastremska said, “I have now a pretty good confidence in my game. I’m not really thinking yet about winning the trophy here, but i’m trying to think about every match playing great. I think if I do that, I will get a trophy here. Definitely, of course, I want to win, but i’m trying to not really think about it.”

She also admitted, “I think I had today not really a good night. I didn’t really sleep well, I woke up a couple of times. But I tried to prepare myself as good as possible. During the match, I felt a little bit tired, and this weather is kind of weird. So, I felt a little bit sleepy, but I still tried to get myself moving and staying intense. I think, well, you’re not always playing great, so it’s okay.”