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Hello, everyone, I am Zheng Saisai, a young player from China who turns 19 next month.
You might notice me on court because I am one of the rare players who wear glasses while playing.
I can't change the fact that I have myopia, but I hope people remember me not only for my appearance but for my performances and progress over the past couple of years, rising from the junior circuit to the professional stage.
Since turning my focus from the ITF circuit to the WTA Tour last year, I've improved my ranking to No 137 and have reached the qualifiers of some Grand Slams.
After solid winter training with senior star Peng Shuai, under Alan Ma's guidance, I felt like I was ready to crack my first singles major main draw at the Australian Open, but the harsh reality of the competition pushed me down again.
Bowing out of the qualifiers in the first round was something I never expected as I know I am better than I performed in the match against Alison Riske of the US. I didn't play as smart as l could and let her dominate the tempo.
It was a huge disappointment, which hung over me for days. That's the ruthless side of professional tennis. Everybody fights much harder than in the juniors and you are immediately punished once you overestimate your ability.
However, good has made up for the bad as reaching the semis of the doubles in Melbourne was something beyond my imagination.
I started to think that I had traveled to Australia in vain because I had set a target to be ranked within the top 70 in singles this year.
Still, the singles exit may have been a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to fully focus on the doubles. My chemistry with partner Varvara Lepchenko of the US continues to grow following our first partnership at last year's US Open.
Lepchenko is a funny veteran who is easy to work with and never hesitates to share her experiences with newcomers like me.
Although everyone is dedicated to singles in pro tennis, I believe doubles can serve as a paving stone for youngsters as you can achieve easier breakthroughs and then acclimate to the atmosphere and competition levels.
The journey of Chinese tennis has proved that as the first Olympic tennis gold medal was generated in the women's doubles - by Li Ting and Sun Tiantian - while Zheng Jie and Yan Zi delivered the first Grand Slam championship in the doubles here in 2006.
At least, I have felt more composed playing deep in the doubles, much more than in my first singles match a week earlier.
Last, but not least, I think a professional team with a personal coach, fitness trainer and physio has been the key to my solid improvement after joining Ma's crew before the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Zheng Saisai, 18, is a rising Chinese tennis player.
(China Daily 01/23/2013 page22)