View Full Version : Shuai Peng has new coach: Tarik Benhabiles

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:14 AM
Peng, Benhabiles Team Up

Peng Shuai, one of three Chinese players in the Top 50 of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Singles Rankings, announced on New Year's Day a brand new partnership with world-renowned tennis coach Tarik Benhabiles, as she begins taking her game to the next level. The pair began training last month in Florida, and they will continue to work together full-time throughout 2009.

Peng has quietly become an international tennis sensation over the last few years, best known for her two-fisted groundstrokes and coming up with particularly excellent results on hardcourts. In 2005 she defeated a slew of Top 10 players - including handing Kim Clijsters her only loss in 23 summer hardcourt matches - and made it all the way up to No.31 in the world herself, which at the time was the highest ranking ever for a Chinese player (it has since been surpassed by Li Na and Zheng Jie).

In 2008, Peng reached two singles finals and won two doubles titles on the Tour, eventually finishing the season ranked No.40. But coaching has been an issue in the past for the 22-year-old since she split with former coach Zhang Depei; aiming for a positive breakthrough in 2009, Peng has been looking for another committed cooperation with a new coach - and she seems to have found it.

Benhabiles, a former professional tennis player himself, 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. He 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."



Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:15 AM
She looks great! 2009 will be finally the year of her breakthrough, I feel it :bounce:

Cant wait to see how she does in the first months of the season :D

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:16 AM
Peng is an underachieving headcase. :bigcry:

Maybe she can find some consistency in 2009 :shrug:

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:19 AM
I've loved Shuai since 05, especially after that match against Kim during the summer. But she's so prone to injury and not exactly a terrific player mentally, so I sort of gave up and expected her to hover between 40 and 70 for the rest of her career. Hopefully I'm wrong and she's finally going to break through. After all, Kim was oddly specific after playing her saying she would eventually be 'top three for sure.'

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:21 AM
Good luck Shuai. You deserve to reach top 10, together with your compatriots Na and Jie. :hearts:

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:22 AM
He did a great job with Roddick back in the days but failed with some others.Maybe he can help Peng to fulfill her potential.

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:23 AM
Good for Peng :D she looks slimmer and in better shape, and seems happy/relieved at finding a coach at last Good luck in 2009 Shuai :banana:

Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:30 AM
I just can't see her breaking through after all these seasons of torture on her fans. We have stuck with her through the good and the bad so it would be nice to see some sort of reward but as long as she is healthy (remember that heart trouble she had?) and happy I am content.

I thought I read that Benhabiles was working with Shikha Uberoi - what happened with that Jean?

Daniel K
Jan 3rd, 2009, 12:35 AM
It's been frustrating supporting her after 2005 but hopefully she can finally breakthrough. She has loads of potential.

Jan 3rd, 2009, 02:24 AM
I just can't see her breaking through after all these seasons of torture on her fans. We have stuck with her through the good and the bad so it would be nice to see some sort of reward but as long as she is healthy (remember that heart trouble she had?) and happy I am content.
Pretty Peng is my favorite Chinese player (especially since with Pengwin's able translation into
Mandarin, I helped her beat your bitch in Charleston in '07 on the 5th anniversary of the great 4fer; maybe sending the same info in English to then Coach Cheng was as important) :p but she's been changing coaches @ a Petrova Pace, it seems. :scratch:

Jan 3rd, 2009, 03:19 AM
With Tarik, Shuai may play up to Top 3 talent per Kim Clijsters in 2005 after losing to her in San Diego

Jan 3rd, 2009, 03:29 AM
Hopefully he can help her sort out her head. It should work well :)

Jan 3rd, 2009, 04:19 AM
come on, ping pong peng. :fiery:

and how much he charges ping pong per week as her personal coach? :p

Jan 3rd, 2009, 04:55 AM
Can't wait to see 贝贝 taking the first seat in China. :D

Jan 3rd, 2009, 06:24 AM
I hope it is a good sign.Good luck.Shuaishuai,come on,for our Tianjiners and Chinese!!

Jan 3rd, 2009, 07:32 AM

She looks great!! Happy in the Florida sunshine!! :inlove:

Here's to a great year 2009 for Shushu.


Jan 3rd, 2009, 07:50 AM
Hope peng can make a good beginning in Brisbane and keep consistence in 2009.Good luck!