January 29, 2023

At this 12 months’s Shiseido Girls’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA) Finals, altogether 5 Chinese language gamers reached the doubles finals, together with 2019 Australian Open champion winner Zhang Shuai. That is the primary WTA match held within the heat southeastern Chinese language town of Shenzhen.

Zhang Shuai (now indexed as No. 10 in WTA doubles scores) will fondly be mindful the 2019 Australian Open at first of this 12 months, when together with her previous doubles spouse Samantha Stosur, former international No. 1 in doubles, she gained the doubles championship. It was once the 8th Grand Slam identify ever gained via a Chinese language participant since former golden doubles gamers Zheng Jie and Yan Zi gained the championship on the Australian Open again in 2006.

On every occasion anyone emerges onto the ladies’s tennis scene in China, they’re inevitably when compared with Li Na (as soon as WTA No. 2 ranked), a reputedly insurmountable top in Chinese language girls’s tennis historical past. On the other hand, quoted from Netease Sports activities, “Li Na is the dream, Zhang Shuai is the truth. This 12 months in Melbourne, dream turns into truth, we witness the miracle of China’s new No. 1. As an alternative of searching for a brand new Li Na, it’s extra essential for Chinese language tennis to find extra gamers like Zhang Shuai.”

“Come on, Zhang Shuai!” Chinese language crowds on the Shenzhen Bay Sports activities Heart Stadium ignited with hobby, cheered and sighed with each level Zhang gained and misplaced on the doubles semi-final event on November 2. She and Samantha had a robust on-court courting, speaking extra frequently than their fighters Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic. Zhang informed media after advancing to the doubles semifinals, “I feel I’ve trusted Sam extra, her doubles revel in and capacity are all above me. With out her, we couldn’t most likely make it to the semifinals.”

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Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur on the doubles semifinals of this 12 months’s WTA Finals (supply: Gabriel Li/Pandaily)

Following is the post-match interview with Zhang Shuai after she was once defeated via Babos and Mladenovic ( 1-6, 6-4, 10-8)

How do you are feeling now? You had been so on the subject of the overall.
I’m truly satisfied in China, we’re right here on this match. We made the semifinal. We had been one step clear of the overall. Nonetheless I’m more than happy. I’ve discovered so much this week. I’ve boosted my self assurance. Previously few days practising doubles, I noticed development in myself. I’m truly certain in regards to the long run. It’s a truly excellent factor. I feel I’ve extra attainable and I will be able to do higher. I didn’t put that a lot consideration on doubles, however right here we’re enjoying the most productive groups on the planet, Grand Slam champions. In each event we had been very shut, this means that there’s such a lot attainable in us. We’re an excessively aggressive workforce. We’ll do higher subsequent 12 months.

Within the remaining press convention you discussed that once the draw you joked with Chan Hao-ching (Taiwanese participant) that you just couldn’t beat any of the seven groups from the gang suits. However now you could have overwhelmed a number of groups, how do you are feeling now?
Sure, Chan cheered me up ahead of I performed nowadays. She if truth be told informed me one of the vital weaknesses of my fighters, like that she does now not have a robust volley. I feel that was once a shaggy dog story, as a result of I’m even worse with the volley. Via this event I may just keep up a correspondence and play the most productive gamers on the planet. We wouldn’t have such a possibility in the entire 12 months as a result of most often we might best have a couple of suits towards the ones gamers in the entire 12 months.

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The highest gamers truly deliver out the most productive in me. I’ve discovered so much on this procedure. I see there’s extra attainable in myself. Win or lose, I’ve stepped forward. Previously I didn’t have alternatives to play in these kind of suits. I’m very certain. I will be able to paintings tougher and I am hoping subsequent 12 months I will be able to qualify for the Shenzhen Finals once more.

Zhang Shuai on the doubles semifinals of this 12 months’s WTA Finals (supply: Gabriel Li/Pandaily)

May just you percentage with us ahead of the tiebreak what your trainer informed you. What did you do smartly? Any regrets?
I will be able to’t be mindful obviously what my trainer mentioned to me as a result of I used to be reviewing a number of issues within the remaining set. On this event I feel we’ve completed really well in comparison to earlier suits this 12 months. I’m truly proud of my efficiency nowadays. I’ve raised my sport on this event in comparison to earlier tournaments, in order that’s a excellent factor. However I’m disillusioned on this consequence. I totally perceive the spectators right here want {that a} Chinese language participant may well be within the last. Anyway, I will be able to paintings tougher. I feel at the moment will come ultimately.

That is your remaining event of the season. Speak about your plan within the low season, iciness coaching.
I feel I wish to educate tougher and I wish to reinforce. I wish to focal point alone sport each day. I wish to realize my weaknesses and reinforce myself. I am hoping that I will be able to spend extra time with my circle of relatives too. I wish to replicate in this season, the revel in, the entire procedure. I would like time to digest, then to arrange for subsequent 12 months, for a brand new starting.

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Such prime score within the doubles this 12 months. You are going to be a top-seeded participant within the doubles subsequent 12 months within the Grand Slams. Any plans for doubles suits subsequent 12 months?
Combined doubles then. I’ll put extra power within the combined doubles (laughter). It’s now not a shaggy dog story, I’m critical. I nonetheless need every other Grand Slam subsequent 12 months.