After falling short of a potential French Open upset against world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, of Poland, on Monday, China’s Zheng Qinwen lamented about the menstrual pain she endured during the match.
Zheng, who defeated 2018 champion Simona Halep before reaching the fourth round of her first Roland Garros tournament, told reporters after the match that the loss left her wishing she was a man.
“It’s just girl things,” the 19-year-old athlete said. “The first day is always so tough and then I have to do sport and I always have so much pain in the first day.
“I couldn’t go against my nature. I wish I can be a man so that I don’t have to suffer from this,” she added. “It’s tough.”
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Currently ranked No. 74 in the world, Zheng won the first set of the game but failed to maintain her momentum after needing a medical timeout during the second set to strap her injured right leg, dropping to a 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-2 loss in their last-16 tie.Zheng claimed that although her leg injury impeded her, it was not the source of her distraction.
“The legs were also tough,” Zheng said. “But that compared to the stomach was easy. I cannot play my tennis because the stomach was too much painful.”
According to Zheng, she gave her best on the court but admitted that it’s “just tough.”
Swiatek, who is set to face U.S. 11th seed Jessica Pegula for a place in the semi-finals, acknowledged that Zheng “played amazing tennis.”
“I was surprised with some of her shots, her topspin was amazing,” Swiatek said in the post-match interview. “Huge congrats to her… I am happy to come back after a frustrating first set when I had the lead. I am proud to be still in the tournament.”