Paris-Zheng Qinwein grew up looking at pictures of the Eiffel Tower in her school books, and the Chinese teenager is paving the way for success in her dream city through her fiery race at the French Open.
Inspired by the success of compatriot Lee Na, who became the first Asian player to win a major singles title with his 2011 victory at Roland Garros, 19-year-old Zheng was impressed with the offensive play of his debut in the Clecourt Slam.
The 74th-ranked Zheng defeated top-ranked Belgian Marina Genevska in her first round and then knocked out former world number one and French Open champion Simona Halep in the second round.
On Saturday, she ended local hopes in the women’s draw by defeating Alice Cornet to book her place in the fourth round at Court Philippe Chatterjee, only to make her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open from the first major of the year.
Zheng said playing in the Grand Slam in front of a large showcase crowd and giving his best performance was a childhood dream.
“About Paris, when I was a child in school, many Chinese books have pictures of the Eiffel Tower,” he told reporters.
“So when I was younger, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was like a dream come true for me. I never thought I could be there. It’s really nice to be here in Paris, yes. “
The next in line for the Chinese will be world number one Iga Suatek, who is on 31 winning runs.
Zheng is looking forward to the challenge and waiting for the opportunity to test himself against the pole, who will turn 21 on Tuesday.
“He is a great player. In fact, I am preparing for this match because I really want to play against him, “said Zheng. “I am excited for this match.
“I haven’t seen much of how he plays, but I know he’s a great clay court player. It will definitely be a tough match. I’ll give you everything I have. “
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