Zhang Shuai had never before won a main-draw Grand Slam match in her long professional career, but at this year’s Australian Open, the Chinese not only upset second seed Simona Halep in the first round, the victory that came just months after the 26-year-old’s serious retirement contemplation, but now the qualifier continued the fairytale by stunning Alize Cornet, the hot player of this period, as the Frenchwoman came to Melbourne with the Hobart title under her belt and opened the tournament by losing just one game to Bojana Jovanovski.
Qualifier Zhang recorded a straightforward 6-3 6-3 victory over the 33rd-ranked Cornet and even though negative, she had a match better differential of winners to unforced errors: -14 to Cornet’s -29.
The world No.133 Zhang is now looking forward to her third-round encounter with American Varvara Lepchenko and is highly motivated. Judging by her post-match statement, her confidence is really strong right now:
I don’t want stop right now. I want to keep winning.
Good luck to Zhang Shuai the rest of the way. After her first round win over Halep, both she and her coach were in tears over the frustration of never winning in a Grand Slam event till that victory. I am also rooting for Puig and Muguruza, though Monica has a tough opponent in Aga next, and Garbi may have to face a tough Vika in the 4th round.