From a sickly child to world-class athlete: The inspiring journey of WTA No.19 Zheng Qinwen

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In a recent “Getting to Know” interview with the WTA, Zheng Qinwen, the talented tennis player currently ranked as WTA No.19, shared a captivating story of her rise to success. Born and raised in Shiyan, China, Zheng’s journey in tennis began as a solution to her recurring health issues during childhood. Let’s explore the remarkable tale of the 20-year-old, where her parents’ decision to introduce her to sports to strengthen her body led her to discover her passion for tennis.

Qinwen Zheng

In the interview, Zheng Qinwen revealed that as a young girl, she faced numerous health challenges that resulted in frequent hospital visits. Concerned for their daughter’s well-being, her parents recognized the importance of physical activity in strengthening her body. Thus, they encouraged her to engage in sports, setting in motion a life-changing path.

Growing up in the serene city of Shiyan, Zheng found her tennis court perched atop a scenic mountain. Every day after school, her eagerness to hit the mountain and practice tennis knew no bounds. It was on that very court where her love for the sport blossomed, intertwined with her journey from a fragile child to a determined athlete.

Years of dedicated practice and unwavering determination paid off as Zheng steadily climbed the ranks of professional tennis. After a quarterfinal showing in Rome, Zheng made her Top 20 debut this week, reaching a career-high ranking of No.19. Only four Chinese WTA players have been ranked higher: Li Na (No.2), Wang Qiang (No.12), Peng Shuai (No.14) and Zheng Jie (No.15).

On Sunday, Zheng kicked off her Roland Garros campaign with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia in the first round. The French Open is the Chinese player’s most successful Grand Slam, where she reached the fourth round last year.

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