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China's Zheng Qinwen moves into WTA 1000 Rome quarterfinals

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-14 09:58
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Zheng Qinwen of China hits a return to Osaka Naomi of Japan during the women's singles round of 16 match at the WTA Italian Open in Rome, Italy, May 13, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

ROME - Seventh seed Zheng Qinwen of China triumphed over former world No 1 Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round of the WTA 1000 Rome on Monday to secure her spot in the quarterfinals.

The Chinese has made her mark in the WTA 1000 series, reaching the quarterfinals four times throughout her career, with two of those appearances being in Rome.

After the match, Zheng expressed her fondness for playing in Italy.

"My first junior championship is in Italy. My first ITF championship is in Italy. My first WTA championship is in Italy. Right now, my second time in the quarterfinals at Rome. I just say I love to play here in Italy."

In 2023, Zheng's previous coach, Wim Fissette, parted ways with her after the US Open to reunite with Osaka.

While Zheng was initially disheartened by this turn of events, she revealed to the media before her encounter with Osaka that she had almost moved on from it.

During the highly-anticipated match, Zheng demonstrated immense focus and dedication, completely engrossed in the game.

"I know she's always tough to beat," Zheng said. "It doesn't matter what surface it is because she's won Grand Slam titles before."

After the winning, Zheng also paid tribute to Osaka, who had only recently returned to competitive action after having given birth in July 2023.

"It's not easy to come back from being a mother. I always have a lot of respect for a player like this. I think today I tried to give everything on court trying to fight. I'm really proud of myself," Zheng added.

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