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Tennis: China’s Zheng Saisai, 20, stuns Jankovic at Tianjin Open

China’s Zheng Saisai, 20, beat top seed Jelena Jankovic at the Tianjin Open to progress to her third straight WTA quarter-final. Photo: Tianjin Open / Paul Zimmer.

Zheng Saisai, 20, beat top seed Jelena Jankovic at the Tianjin Open to progress to her third straight WTA quarter-final. Photo: Tianjin Open / Paul Zimmer.

October 10, 2014: China’s fast-rising Zheng Saisai recorded the first top-20 win of her career on Thursday afternoon, taking out top seed Jelena Jankovic in straight sets in the second round of the inaugural Tianjin Open, reported wtatennis.com.

 

Just a day after being announced as one of the four Rising Stars to compete in an invitational event at this month’s WTA Finals in Singapore, the 20-year-old Zheng delighted Chinese fans with a shock 6-3, 6-3 win over Jankovic, a former World No. 1.

 

Zheng has won five ITF titles and one WTA doubles title, but the World No. 112 had never previously beaten anyone in the top 60. She changed that in Tianjin with some solid baseline play and deft touch at the net, outfoxing the World No. 14 for the better part of an hour and 27 minutes.

 

The Chinese youngster even won nine of 10 games from 3-2 down in the first set to build a 6-3, 5-1 lead. Jankovic, 29, staged a late rally to win two games to close to 6-3, 5-3 and even held break point in the next game, but Zheng held her nerve and her serve to close out.

 

“Jankovic is by far the highest-ranking player I’ve ever defeated,” Zheng said. “Being able to defeat a top player like her definitely gives me more confidence in future matches.”

 

Zheng progressed to her third straight quarter-final, having lost to top seed Jana Cepelova in last month’s US$125,000 Suzhou Open before reaching the same stage at the US$250,000 Prudential Hong Kong Open, where she beat then-World No. 62 Yanina Wickmayer before losing to eventual champion Sabine Lisicki.

 

At the Asian Games in Incheon last month, she helped China reach the final of the women’s team event, but didn’t play the final as the side lost 2-1 to Chinese Taipei. She also reached the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles with Duan Yingying and the second round of the mixed with Wu Di.

 

In August, Zheng competed in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open, reaching the second round by beating Stefanie Voegele (then World No. 66) of Switzerland.

 

Zheng won her first and so far only WTA doubles title at the 2011 Guangzhou Open with Taiwan No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei and reached the final of this year’s Malaysian Open with Chan Yung-jan, also from Taiwan. Last year, Zheng reached the singles final of the Suzhou Open, a WTA 125K event.

 

She was only 15 in July 2009 when she won the first of her four ITF titles and won her most recent in Anning this May in her ninth final. Zheng also won five ITF doubles titles in nine finals from 2010 to 2012.

 

As a 16-year-old at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, she won silver in the singles and doubles gold, partnering Tang Haochen.

 

Source: http://www.wtatennis.com/news/article/4205904/title/zheng-saisais-big-breakthrough; Editing by SportAsia

 

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