In an exhilarating match on Friday, Zheng Qinwen secured her spot in an all-Chinese semi-final at the WTA Elite Trophy. She impressively overcame former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in a three-set battle, finishing with scores of 6-4, 1-6, and 6-2. The match drew significant attention and showcased Zheng’s skills on the court, further solidifying her reputation as China’s top tennis sensation.
Her next challenge will be wild-card recipient Zhu Lin. The path to this face-off became clear when Veronika Kudermetova achieved a surprising victory against fourth-seeded Liudmila Samsonova, enabling Zhu to emerge from the Rose Group in Zhuhai. Tennis enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating their match, scheduled for 4 pm local time.
Interestingly, while it’s their first confrontation at the WTA Tour level, the two players are no strangers to each other. Back in 2018, during the ITF World Tennis Tour US$60,000 event in Jinan, China, Zhu managed a staggering victory against a younger, 15-year-old Zheng with scores of 6-0, 6-1. Given their shared history, the upcoming match promises to be both intense and nostalgic.
The stakes for this semi-final are high. Whoever emerges victorious will have the distinction of becoming only the second Chinese player to make it to the final round of the Elite Trophy. A look back at the competition’s history reveals Wang Qiang’s commendable achievement in 2019, where she was a runner-up, with the coveted title ultimately being clinched by Ash Barty.
Currently ranked as the World No. 18 and aged 21, Zheng’s recent performance has garnered significant attention. Her triumph over Ostapenko was marked by her impressive 11 aces. Further demonstrating her form, Zheng boasts a winning streak of seven consecutive matches, including her recent title victory at the Zhengzhou Open. On the other hand, Kudermetova showcased sheer determination in her match against Samsonova. After facing two match points, she launched a formidable comeback from a 5-2, 40-15 deficit in the final set, eventually sealing the win.
Meanwhile, in another segment of the tournament, eighth-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia earned her semi-final berth by defeating Caroline Garcia. With a 2-0 record, Maia is set to face the sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina next. The WTA Elite Trophy is a significant event, serving as the first postseason tournament on the women’s tour. It showcases 11 top singles players who did not qualify for the upcoming WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico. The format divides the participants into four groups of three, with each group’s top player progressing to the semi-finals. Fans eagerly await the final match scheduled for Sunday.