SPORTS Wimbledon 2022: Chinese 'golden flowers' cruise into second round

SPORTS

Wimbledon 2022: Chinese 'golden flowers' cruise into second round

By Lu Dong in Beijing | People's Daily app

14:00, June 29, 2022

The Wimbledon logo. (Photo: CFP)

Three female Chinese players are looking to go further at the Wimbledon tennis championships as they overcame opponents in the opening round on Tuesday.

Zheng Qinwen of China reached the second round of Wimbledon by knocking out 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

China's Zheng Qinwen returns the ball to US player Sloane Stephens during their women's singles tennis match on the second day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in London, on June 28, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

Zheng, 19, was making her Wimbledon debut and she has been encouraged by stunning performance at Roland Garros 2022, where she upset 2018 champion and former world No.1 Simona Halep in the second round. Zheng gave World No.1 Iga Swiatek a scare in the Round of 16, becoming the only player to take a set off of the eventual champion.

The Chinese teen sensation grabbed her first WTA 125 title at the Valencia Open in Spain earlier this month.

Zheng will face the winner of the match between Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, the No.9 seed, and Belgian Greet Minnen in the next round.

Alongside Zheng, Chinese players Zhang Shuai and Wang Qiang advanced to the second round.

Veteran Zhang Shuai, the No.33 seed, beat Japanese Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-0, while Wang Qiang defeated Swiss Belinda Bencic, the No.14 seed, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.

Zhang Shuai competes in the first round women's singles match on day two of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on June 28, 2022. (Photo: Weibo account of Wimbledon Championships)

Zhang has a career-high singles ranking of world No.23, achieved in November 2016, and a career-high doubles ranking of No.3, reached on June 13, 2022.

For Wang, Tuesday's victory was her first victory over a seed at Wimbledon. The world No.140, a former world No.12, is a 2019 US Open quarterfinalist.

Wang Qiang competes in the first round women's singles match on day two of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on June 28, 2022. (Photo: Weibo account of Wimbledon Championships)

Three other Chinese players, Yuan Yue, Zhu Lin and Wang Xiyu, were eliminated following losses in the first round.

Also on Tuesday, unseeded French Harmony Tan earned a win in her Wimbledon main-draw debut, topping 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams of the United States 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 in an enthralling first-round clash.

US player Serena Williams returns the ball to France's Harmony Tan during their women's singles tennis match on the second day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in London, on June 28, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

Serena Williams brushed off any talk of retirement after the shattering defeat by insisting she is "motivated" to play at the US Open later this year.

In men's singles, Spaniard Rafael Nadal overcame a huge scare to progress to the second round. The two-time Wimbledon champion, who has not played at the tournament since 2019, thanked the crowd for their wholehearted support.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning against Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo at the end of their men's singles tennis match on the second day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in London, on June 28, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime, who took Nadal to five sets at the French Open, crashed out of the tournament at the hands of American Maxime Cressy.

The sixth seed lost 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/5), removing another potential obstacle in the path of Nadal.

No.4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas extended his grass-court winning streaks by beating Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard in four sets.

The Greek claimed his maiden grass title by beating world No.19 Roberto Bautista Agut in a third-set tie-break in the final of the ATP 250 event.

(With input from WTA)

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