Sports / Tennis

Peng prioritizes health in career comeback

By Tang Yue (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-08 07:25

Peng prioritizes health in career comeback

China's Peng Shuai hits a return on her way to a second-round loss to France's Caroline Garcia at the China Open in Beijing on Oct 5, 2016. Wei Xiaohao/China Daily

Peng Shuai's recent travails off the court have made her appreciate the positives on it, although she remains uncertain whether or not her body can still withstand the rigors of professional tennis.

The two-time semifinalist at the China Open and previous Grand Slam semifinalist is, however, inspired by her first-round win over Venus Williams at the China Open, after an eight-month absence following back surgery.

Peng fell to No 664 in the world due to her enforced hiatus and the victory over the seven-time Grand Slam winner was only her third win on the WTA tour since her comeback began in February. She said the win over Williams meant as much to her as any of her past achievements.

"After this win, I don't know whether I can move up the rankings towards (No) 200. I think it is more important that I remain fit and healthy; otherwise I cannot continue my professional career," said Peng, the current world No 223.

She revealed that following her surgery, doctors rated her chances of returning to the court at only 50 percent. She added that her friends and family were initially opposed to her comeback due to the risks involved.

But she was determined to at least give it a go.

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