Zheng Soars Into Maiden Grand Slam Final As First Chinese Player In A Decade

Zheng Soars Into Maiden Grand Slam Final As First Chinese Player In A Decade

by Zachary Wimer

Qinwen Zheng reached her maiden Grand Slam final after beating Dayana Yastremska in the 2024 Australian Open semifinal.

Neither of these players was expected to make it to the semifinals, though it was far less of a surprise for Zheng. She's been playing really strong tennis for a long time, making her way into the Top 20 on the WTA Tour, thanks to her performances.

The wins here secured her a Top 10 debut following the event, and if the way she's playing, she can only go further up. Winning this match took a really strong effort, though her opponent dealt with an injury as well.

We don't know exactly what bothered Yastremska, as she played really well at times, but taking an off-court medical time-out wasn't a good sign. Overall, the Ukranian struggled to hit the needed consistency to win the match.

She has a higher ceiling in the sense that when she finds her tennis, it's impossible to beat her. Conversely, Zheng is far more consistent overall, and that's what won her the match.

Yastremska found some amazing shots but couldn't outperform the Chinese player for the entirety of the match. The opening set finished 6-4 for Zheng, who played the crucial rallies better.

They were quite close for the most part, but she won the crucial rallies. The second set was even more impressive by the Chinese player as she finally found her serve regularly, and that made all the difference.

It's a major weapon for her, but she can sometimes struggle with it. Ultimately, the final score was 6-4 6-4 for the Chinese player, who reached her maiden Grand Slam final, becoming the first Chinese player to do so in a decade after Li Na won the Australian Open in 2014.

It's going to be a tough matchup against Aryna Sabalenka, who bested Coco Gauff, but it should be a good match. Yastremska failed to match Emma Raducanu's feat of winning a Grand Slam as a qualifier, but she'll certainly be happy with her performance in Melbourne.

Dayana Yastremska vs Qinwen Zheng Match Stats:

Dayana Yastremska 4-6 4-6 Qinwen Zheng
3 Aces 4
5 Double Faults 3
56% First Serve % 50%
63% (19/30) Points Won After First Serve % 72% (21/29)
46% (11/24) Points Won After Second Serve % 48% (14/29)
20% (2/10) Break Point Conversion 30% (3/10)
20 Winners 14
23 Unforced Errors 18


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