Zheng Qinwen wins; will play Zhu Lin in the Zhuhai semifinals

China’s top player advances to the semifinals of the Huafa Technology WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai after a thrilling victory. Zheng Qinwen narrowly defeated Jelena Ostapenko, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the winner-take-all round-robin match in the Orchid Group.

Zheng, the 2022 WTA Newcomer of the Year, is one of two Chinese players who have made it to the semifinals. Zhu Lin, a wild card, secured her spot in the semifinals from the Rose Group after Veronika Kudermetova defeated Liudmila Samsonova.

In this match, Zheng extended her undefeated record against Ostapenko to 3-0. The two-hour battle saw Zheng hit 11 aces and win the last four games. Notably, Zheng has won her last seven matches and triumphed in both of her group stage matches in Zhuhai, both in three sets.

Key moments of the match: The tone was set early in the match with a five-deuce game on Ostapenko’s serve, resulting in Zheng breaking serve on her fourth break point.

Throughout the match, World No.18 Zheng managed to break Ostapenko’s serve four times, twice in each set won. It’s worth mentioning that Ostapenko only won six points in her four service games during the second set.

The final set saw the first five games going with serve. However, a crucial three-deuce game on Ostapenko’s serve in the sixth game turned the tide in Zheng’s favor.

Zheng and Zhu will now face each other in their pursuit to become the second Chinese player to reach the final in Zhuhai. Wang Qiang was the runner-up to Ashleigh Barty in 2019.

Although they have never played each other at the tour level, Zhu dominated Zheng with a 6-0, 6-1 victory in a 2018 ITF World Tennis Tour event in Jinan, China. It’s worth noting that this event took place early in Zheng’s professional career when she was just 15 years old and playing in her sixth professional tournament.


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