| GEO Sports|
Peng on treble path, Mirza loses marathon
| Updated at: 1622 PST, Sunday, November 21, 2010|
GUANGZHOU: China's Peng Shuai shattered 40-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm's dream of a second Asian Games title on Sunday to keep her triple gold bid on course.
Peng clinched a 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-2 win over the veteran Japanese, who won her first singles gold at the Hiroshima Asiad in 1994, and now faces Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova, who put out Indian golden girl Sania Mirza.
Peng, 16 years Date Krumm's junior, made the most of her opponent's inconsistency where an impressive 59 winners were cancelled out by 73 unforced errors and a morale-sapping six double faults.
World number 72 Peng has already helped China to team gold in Guangzhou and is also in the women's double semi-finals with Yan Zi.
"We kept running all the time. We were exhauasted. My arms seemed to fall apart but I never gave up," said Peng, who also praised her veteran opponent. "She is a genius."
Date Krumm admitted the season had caught up with her but that she had been determined to take part in the Games.
"Many professional players would not play in this kind of tournament. I came here mainly with the purpose of encouraging young Japanese players to improve their level," she said, before ruling herself out of the 2104 edition.
"I will be 44 in four years' time. I'm not a robot."
Mirza needed six set points to wrap up the opener after more than an hour on court against the big-hitting Amanmuradova who she had defeated in all three of their previous meetings.
But the Indian's game unravelled in the second set and the world 69 levelled the tie.
As the clock ticked towards the three-hour mark, Amanmuradova's greater stamina paid dividends as she took victory on the first of three match points for a 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-4 win.
Defending men's champion Danai Udomchoke was knocked out in the quarter-finals, losing to Japan's Tatsuma Ito 6-4, 6-1.
"I couldn't put a ball in court today," said the Thai. "Nothing worked."
Ito next faces Indian number Somdev Devverman who defeated China's Zhang Ze 6-4, 6-4.
Top seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan reached the semi-finals after a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win over Karan Rastogi with the vanquished Indian praising his opponent's sportsmanship.
Istomin, the world number 40, would have won if he had accepted the chair umpire's judgement that a Rastogi forehand was out on match point.
However, the Uzbek called the ball good before eventually going on to win.
"Not many people on the tour would do that," said Rastogi, the world 332.
"I have known him for a while and for him to call the ball good on match point showed that he's an incredible champion." Istomin said he had no option.
"The shot was on the line, so the call of out was not true. Finally I won because I played better at the end of the match."
Istomin faces Japan's Go Saeda, who put out Wu Di of China 6-2, 6-3.