Qinwen Zheng is only 20 years old, yet her journey to be today’s Women’s Tennis Association world ranking No. 7 began at an early age in her home country, China.
In the heart of China’s province lies Shiyan, the birthplace of Qinwen Zheng. She was a prodigy from an early age; she began playing at the age of seven. The young tennis player was raised by her mother’s family in the Chinese province of Sichuan, with whom she remains close to this day.
Zheng picked up a tennis racket at the age of seven, awakening the spark that would define her future. The eight-year-old genius left her family in Shiyan after just two months of tennis competition to pursue intense training in Wuhan, China. Zheng’s perseverance and dedication were demonstrated by this early separation from her home and family, qualities that would define and support her in the future.
This was Qinwen Zheng watching Li Na winning the 2014 Australian Open title.
Ten years later, Zheng is into the 2024 Australian Open Women’s Final, becoming the first Chinese singles finalist at a Major since Li Na, herself.
— Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) January 25, 2024
After three years, Zheng ended up in Beijing and prepared to step up her game even further. Here, she got the priceless chance to train with famous coach Carlos Rodriguez, who helped mold the career of Zheng’s idol, Li Na. This crucial Beijing era set the stage for Zheng’s developing abilities and strategic dominance on the court.
Zheng started a new chapter in 2019 when she moved to Barcelona with her mother. Her tennis career and goals saw a major rise with the move to one of the tennis hotspots in the world. Zheng found that Barcelona’s world-class training facilities and rich tennis culture gave her the perfect environment to improve her skills and compete on a global scale.
In 2021, Zheng started working with coach Pere Riba, marking another significant development in her tennis career. Renowned for his coaching skills, Riba gave Zheng’s training program new insights that helped her adjust and succeed in the professional sphere.
Qinwen Zheng’s journey from Shiyan to Barcelona is evidence of her unwavering dedication and drive for tennis excellence. Her story inspires both young athletes and tennis fans as she keeps making progress on the global scene.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2024
During the 2024 Australian Open, Zheng achieved a significant milestone by reaching the Grand Slam final. Along the way, she secured victories over opponents, including Ashlyn Krueger, Katie Boulter, Wang Yafan, and Oceane Dodin.
Zheng’s incredible run continued when she defeated qualifier and first-time semifinalist Dayana Yastremska in the semifinals after defeating Anna Kalinskaya in the quarterfinals. Her status as the fourth Chinese player in history to advance to the semifinals of a major tournament was cemented by this accomplishment. She lost the Final to Aryna Sabalenka, her opponent, on Monday the 29th.
Although Zheng is a growing name in the tennis world, she is yet to be recognized by major international media outlets. While she is widely covered by tennis and sports media in China, only a few international media outlets have dedicated articles to her success. The New York Times called her “the brightest of China’s growing cohort of bright tennis lights.” The BBC dedicated Zheng her first article on January 26th, 202, as she prepared to play in the Australia Open Final. Perhaps as she keeps defeating her opponents and gains international popularity, we will see more international media coverage.