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drake3781
Jul 16th, 2008, 05:53 AM
Article on Zheng Jie, following Wimbledon and before Olympics. :D
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Zheng Jie resurfacing in time for Olympics
www.chinaview.cn (http://www.chinaview.cn/index.htm) http://imgs.xinhuanet.com/icon/2006english/2007korea/space.gif 2008-07-16 11:18:22

By Sportswriter Wang Jimin


BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- If Zheng Jie thought winning two Grand Slam events was tough, she now faces an even tougher job to do -- to claim her first ever Olympic title on home soil.

Zheng's latest success at Wimbledon has demonstrated that she is more than a doubles specialist.

In the best performance by a Chinese player at a grand slam to date, wildcard and 133rd ranked Zheng beat top seed Ana Ivanovic, 15th seed Agnes Szavay and 18th seed Nicole Vaidisova, bowing out to Serena Williams after a second set tiebreak in the semifinals.

The sensational run in particular boosted China's chances of landing tennis gold at the Games after a largely bleak 18-month run for China's leading women players.

"After the August Olympics I might put more efforts on the singles, but as for the Beijing Games, my focus is still on the doubles," said Zheng, who just turned 25 on July 5.

"Everybody wants more medals, but I think my partner Yan Zi andI appear more hopeful in the women's doubles and we have been preparing for it for a long time."

Zheng, who missed most of last year with an ankle injury, is a former Wimbledon and Australian Open doubles champion as well as an Asian Games doubles and singles winner. Before the injury she had won 10 doubles titles with Yan and three singles titles but only added the Sydney doubles title after returning this season.

With long-time partner Yan, however, she is still considered the best chance of China retaining the Olympic women's doubles gold medal won by Sun Tiantian and Li Ting in Athens.

Zheng and Yan also had their first taste of the Olympics in Athens, but were sent packing in the quarterfinals.

China's hopes of success in Beijing had seemed real after the breakthrough of Chinese women largely inspired by Zheng in 2006, but a fragile left ankle ruled Zheng out for much of last season.

Deputy director of China's Tennis Administrative Center Gao Shenyang chose to see the different side of the coin, saying after Zheng's Wimbledon success that the injury has unexpectedly turned in Zheng's favor.

He said: "After recovering from the injury, Zheng has matured alot and played with much clearer mind. For many times against higher ranked players in the tournament, she was just able to play cool."

Zheng's long-time injury in the left ankle aggravated in the French Open in 2007 when she suffered both early exits from the singles and doubles events. Since then, Zheng was rested for more than half a year and applied for protected ranking, part of the Center's careful plan in build-up to the Beijing Games.

Back on court early this year, Zheng was dumped out of top 100 in the world rankings, but her beautiful move and all-court running seemed restored while baseline work looked even more aggressive than before.

Zheng, with a protected singles ranking of 60, will play both in singles and doubles. In singles, she will be joined by former world top 20 player Li Na, Yan and Peng Shuai, the first time China clinched all four entries in the event since the sport came back to the Olympic family in 1988. In women's doubles, Peng and Olympic champion Sun Tiantian also qualified for the 32-team line-up.

"I had never thought I could do this well (at Wimbledon)," said Zheng after coming back to Beijing. "Tactics is important in the matches, but sometimes when you play against strong opponents, confidence may hold the key to victory."

"It is tough to make the last four at Wimbledon. The success gave me a lot more confidence at the Beijing Games."

With none of her family playing tennis, Zheng got into tennis as a child only by accident. "When I was a child, I was very sporty and lively and my parents wanted me to have more practice, to be healthy," she told the Wimbledon's official website. "At that time there were not many people who knew the tennis game in China, but as soon as I started to play I fell in love with it."

The Tennis Administrative Center has groomed a batch of female talents since 2003. The diminutive Zheng is not among the strongest players, but certainly the most mentally-tough, notably at the 2006 Asian Games when she held on to claim singles and doubles titles after China's shock loss of the team gold. Gao believed Zheng was a blueprint for a new generation of players.

"Zheng has two reasons to win. One is her mentality. She never gives up until the last moment. The second is her way of playing -- speed, variety, cleverness. That can represent the future direction of development of Chinese players."

The star player from southwest China's Sichuan province has promised to donate her Wimbledon prize money to victims of the May12 devastating earthquake that shattered parts of her home region. She earned 375,000 U.S. dollars for reaching the semifinals. "I will donate all my portion and apart from that I will do as much as I can to help the people of the region," Zheng said. "I will do more charity work and encourage more people to come and support the stricken area."
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/16/content_8554458.htm (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/16/content_8554458.htm)

ZeroSOFInfinity
Jul 16th, 2008, 06:05 AM
The Tennis Administrative Center has groomed a batch of female talents since 2003. The diminutive Zheng is not among the strongest players, but certainly the most mentally-tough, notably at the 2006 Asian Games when she held on to claim singles and doubles titles after China's shock loss of the team gold. Gao believed Zheng was a blueprint for a new generation of players.

"Zheng has two reasons to win. One is her mentality. She never gives up until the last moment. The second is her way of playing -- speed, variety, cleverness. That can represent the future direction of development of Chinese players."

The star player from southwest China's Sichuan province has promised to donate her Wimbledon prize money to victims of the May12 devastating earthquake that shattered parts of her home region. She earned 375,000 U.S. dollars for reaching the semifinals. "I will donate all my portion and apart from that I will do as much as I can to help the people of the region," Zheng said. "I will do more charity work and encourage more people to come and support the stricken area."

:worship::worship::worship: :kiss::kiss::hearts::hearts:

I'll be rooting for you in the Olympics, Jie!!! Get the doubles gold!!!

louisa.
Jul 16th, 2008, 08:18 AM
i can't wait to see her play again! :D

Junex
Jul 16th, 2008, 09:49 AM
:worship::worship::worship: :kiss::kiss::hearts::hearts:

I'll be rooting for you in the Olympics, Jie!!! Get the doubles gold!!!

And all of Asia will!

Good Luck Jie!

Its time for the restoration of my chinese dolls!