China's Zheng tags herself "lightweight tennis champion"

Zheng Jie of China hits a return to Serena Williams of the U.S. during their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London

If tennis is like weightlifting or boxing having been divided into categories, Zheng Jie should have been a lightweight champion.

But she will never have the chance to play Serena Williams, a 13th grand slam champion and four-time winner at Wimbledon.

Zheng, one of the most dimunitive figures at Wimbledon, stands only 1.64 meters and weighs 50kg, looks just humbled in stature on Centre Court by Williams, who is 1.75m and about 70kg of body weight.

"After coming off the court, I just thought, 'what if tennis has divided into several categories like weightlifting?" Zheng said. "Her serve is just too powerful."

"When I was a child, I always dreamt that I could grow 10 centimeters taller. After the match, it flashed cross my mind again for the first time during the years."

But the third round match proved far closer than their statures have suggested. Zheng, the 25th seed, put up an "unbelievable" fight against Williams but was just edged out in a final set thriller.

Zheng took the first set and hung on in the third until the end 6-7 (5), 6-2, 9-7 and gave Williams plenty to think about with an impressive display of grasscourt tennis.

"She's playing unbelievable on grass," Williams said of Zheng.

The weapon that helped Williams escape an upset is her serve. She hit a Wimbledon-record 23 aces, held every service game en route to the win. "(My serve) it definitely helped me out today because I wasn't doing my best on my return like I normally do."

China's Zheng tags herself "lightweight tennis champion"

But she said that there is no regret for her. "I have played my best tennis, tried my best and found my best form."

Zheng became China's first player to enter the last four in a Grand Slam event in 2008, when she made the semifinals at Wimbledon. But she was stopped by Williams in the same court.

She said this marathon match has boosted her confidence and she could do better when coming back during the Olympic Games in three weeks.

"Wimbledon is my favorite," she said. "I hope to do better this year at the Olympics than in Beijing and Athens."

Zheng won the women's doubles bronze medal four years ago in Beijing with her long-time partner Yan, whom she played together when she also took the Wimbledon and Austrlaian Open champions in 2006.

But in the singles event, she was not very much successful in the Olympic arena, where she was stopped in the first round in Athens and third round in Beijing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

No Comments

Leave a reply

If you liked this article, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed.