China Sports Today has a long story about Wimbledon’s Chinese Cinderella story:
If Zheng Jie’s (郑洁) unlikely Wimbledon run continues, she will spend her 25th birthday playing in the singles final at the All England Club this Saturday. Her chances of getting there are slim—she would have to beat Serena Williams on Thursday. But Zheng has already made history as the first Chinese player and the first female wild card entry to reach the final four in singles at Wimbledon.
Zheng, a Chengdu native, has said she will donate the portion of her winnings that does not go to the CTA (Chinese Tennis Association) to Sichuan earthquake relief efforts. Her prize money will be at least $390,000.
It’s not surprising that she is playing this deep into the tournament. The surprise is that she’s still alive in the singles draw. Zheng won doubles at Wimbledon and the Australian Open with her partner Yan Zi (晏紫-pictured above, left, with Zheng) in 2006, but she’s never gotten past the fourth round in a Grand Slam as a singles player.
“The CTA focuses on doubles. Anything that comes with singles is a bonus,” Tom McCarthy, president of Beijing International Group (BIG), told China Sports Today. BIG is the sports marketing firm that represents Zheng and the CTA. “Playing singles was supposed to get her in shape for the Olympics,” McCarthy added. She’s getting in shape, alright, chasing down shots from players half a foot taller than her (Zhang is only 5-foot-4 1/2) and upsetting world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic (6-foot-2 inches tall), Agnes Szavay (seeded 15th) and Nicole Vaidisova (seeded 18th).
Read the rest here.