The Fab 4: Chinese women make tennis history at US Open
By Rebecca Moon
September 2, 2022
US Open history was made on Thursday as four players became the first four Chinese women to reach the third round of a grand slam event.
Tennis stars Zheng Qinwen and Yuan Yue joined Wang Xiyu and Zhang Shuai in the final 32 of the US Open on Thursday.
Zheng, 19, went against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova and won 7-6, 7-6, setting her up against Germany’s Jule Niemeier for the third round. Yuan, 23, defeated Romania’s Irina-Camelia Behu with a score of 6-3 and 7-6. Yuan will be up against Jessica Pegula of the United States for a spot in the last 16.
“I saw a lot of players they can do really well so I tried to learn from them,” Yuan told WTA Tennis. “Sometimes I practice with them and I think sometimes I don’t think I play really bad. Sometimes I practice with some Chinese players, like Zhu Lin, Wang Qiang, Wang Xiyu. They are all really good players, Top 100. Wang Qiang was Top 12. They helped me a lot. “
On Wednesday, 21-year-old Wang sent Maria Sakkari of Greece out of the tournament with a winning score of 3-6, 7-5 and 7-5.
Zhang, 33, who is considered the veteran of the group, defeated Naomi Osaka and Anett Kontaveit two weeks ago in Cincinnati, placing her in the WTA 1000 quarterfinal for the first time in four years.
Zheng, who has been a rising star of Chinese tennis, saw her rank rise to 39th in the world following a series of tournament performances. The 19-year-old reached the second round of the Australian Open before advancing to the fourth round of the French Open tournament and the third round at Wimbledon.
“This is so positive. It means in China the tennis starts to go up,” Zheng was quoted as saying per South China Morning Post. “Between each other we have really good competition. When you have someone to compete [against], you always perform better. I think with this energy, I hope all of us [can go] as far as we can. [There have been] such good performances here, I’m happy for all of them.”
In addition, tennis star Wu Yibing made history on Wednesday by advancing to the third round of the Grand Slam, becoming the first Chinese man to do so since 1946.
“I have the responsibility to do it, and with my ability, it will always be part of my career,” Wu told The New York Times. “I think it can really help kids to love tennis, to pay attention to the sport. Before Li Na, we did not have many tennis facilities in China. But then it got more popular and hopefully I can bring even more tennis to China.”
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