Jan 9, 2009

Peng Shuai hires world-renowned coach Tarik Benhabiles

Peng Shuai, one of China's top players in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles, is planning to take her game to the next level.

Recently she announced on New Year's Day a new partnership with world-renowned tennis coach Tarik Benhabiles.

The pair began training last month in Florida, and they will continue to work together full-time throughout 2009.

In 2008, Peng reached two singles finals and won two doubles titles on the Tour, eventually finishing the season ranked No.40.

The 22-year-old splitted with former coach Zhang Depei last year. Peng has been looking for committed cooperation with a new coach - and now she seems to have found it.

Benhabiles is a former professional tennis player, reached a career-high of no.22 on the ATP World Tour Rankings and represented France in Davis Cup. He captured the Roland Garros junior singles title in 1981 and the French National Championships in 1986.

He ended his playing career in 1992 and started to coach a young Andy Roddick, taking the American superstar into the Top 10 in 2003. Besides a strong relationship with Roddick, Benhabiles has worked with other top players, including Benjamin Becker, Ivo Karlovic and Gael Monfils.

Benhabiles is also the founder of the Tarik Benhabiles Tennis Academy, an elite tennis school in Florida that helps create and train future tennis stars.

"Peng Shuai is a disciplined player with many weapons and superior internal strengths," Benhabiles said.

"She is a girl of destiny and I expect her to be in the top group of the rankings by year's end."


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