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郑洁跻身澳网八强 再写历史
Zheng blazes her way into quarters

[ 2010-01-25 15:13]     字号 [] [] []  
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郑洁跻身澳网八强 再写历史

郑洁跻身澳网八强 再写历史

Zheng Jie of China hits a return against the Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko during the Australian Open in Melbourne yesterday. Zheng won 7-6, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals.(Agencies)

Zheng Jie eased into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a straight sets win over Alona Bondarenko yesterday, her victory adding another page to China's impressive run in the women's draw.

The 7-6, 6-4 upset over the in-form Ukrainian not only bolstered the diminutive Zheng's claims for a maiden Grand Slam, but also validated her decision to break away from China's sports system a year ago.

"Last year was the first year I've gone it alone ... There were many things I didn't understand or know about and things weren't easy," Zheng said.

"I think in my second year, I'm adapting to a lot."

Zheng, along with three of China's top women players - Li Na, Peng Shuai and Yan Zi - was granted the option of leaving the system at the end of 2008 in a watershed decision by the national tennis administration.

Leaving the regime, which most of China's top athletes are still tied to, meant keeping a lot more of her earnings but also being exposed to the realities of life on the tour - having to organize her own coaching, travel and expenses.

It also exposed Zheng to a lot more scrutiny at home, where the Chinese Tennis Association's decision to allow the players to "fly away" has been slammed by conservative officials in China.

The pressure may have told on Zheng, who shocked the tennis world with her run to the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2008 but could manage no more than a fourth-round finish at Melbourne Park out of the Grand Slams last year.

China's tennis chief also weighed into the debate last year, suggesting Zheng might be better off returning to the national fold after her ranking dipped from a high 15 to outside the top 30.

She now has her eyes on a semifinal, however, and will now need to beat in-form Maria Kirilenko, who dumped Maria Sharapova out of the first round, as World No 2 Dinara Safina pulled out of her fourth-round match against Kirilenko in the first set.

"I think Australia is lucky for me because I won my first Grand Slam doubles title (here)," she said, referring to her 2006 victory with Yan.

"But I think we can go further because you can see Li Na in the fourth round. I hope both of us Chinese players can be in the semifinals."

Li, who has fared better than Zheng in her maiden year away from the state system, will play Caroline Wozniacki for a place in the quarterfinals.

Li and Zheng's performances have no doubt thrilled fans at home but have also magnified the desultory state of the men's game with not a single Chinese man in the singles draw at Melbourne Park.

"Yeah, it is a hard question. Everybody wants to know," Zheng said. "Maybe the men need to work harder."



多哈网球场 郑洁封后

小威美网辱骂裁判 无缘决赛


郑洁跻身澳网八强 再写历史

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)