The Sun (Malaysia)

Zheng rejoices at ‘breakthrou­gh’ US Open win


RISING Chinese star Zheng Qinwen reached her first Grand Slam quarterfin­al yesterday at the US Open after knocking out last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur, describing it as a “breakthrou­gh” win after enduring her share of frustratio­n this season.

The 20-year-old Zheng’s blend of power and precision overwhelme­d a weary Jabeur, her 6-2, 6-4 victory sending the 23rd seed through to a meeting with incoming world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka.

“Honestly the feeling was fantastic, especially in that moment. I feel this is like important win for me. Like you say, it’s a breakthrou­gh,” said Zheng.

“I always been waiting this moment to happen. Honestly, at beginning of year I’m thinking it’s going to happen very fast.

“Because I’m focusing that moment too much about the result and I lost little bit the patience of myself, that’s affect a lot to my tennis part.”

She earned the WTA newcomer of the year award in 2022, winning her debut at all four majors and making a run to the French Open last 16 before losing in three sets to eventual champion Iga Swiatek.

But Zheng had won just two Grand Slam matches this season before carving out a bit of history in New York, where she and Wang Xinyu became the first two Chinese players to reach the fourth round at the same US Open.

While Wang lost to Roland Garros finalist Karolina Muchova on Sunday, Zheng became only the fourth Chinese woman to make the last eight at Flushing Meadows – following in the footsteps of Wang Qiang, Peng Shuai and Li Na.

Standing in her way next is Sabalenka, who will replace outgoing champion Iga Swiatek at the top of the rankings after the tournament, but Zheng is not one to shy away from a challenge.

“I always believe that I’m able to beat everyone if I play the right tennis that I have to play,” said Zheng.

“Of course, the opponent will also play good. There is going to be lot of competitio­n. But I believe that if I’m really there fighting for every point, I mean, things going to happen. You can never say that, but we will see.”

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