BETTING: China’s Zheng Qinwen, 19, has said she is eager to test herself against Iga Swiatek after setting up a round of 16 encounter with the world number one and former Roland Garros champion.
Zheng, who shocked 2018 French Open winner Simona Halep in the previous round, advanced on Saturday when Alize Cornet retired with a thigh injury while leading 6-0, 3-0.
Zheng, ranked 74th, is making her Paris debut, having competed in her first Grand Slam in Australia this year.
She will be looking to end Swiatek’s 31-game winning streak that dates back to February. The Pole won the title in Paris as a teenager in 2020.
“Of course, she’s a wonderful player. In fact, I was prepared for this game, because I really want to play against her, so I’m excited for this game,” Zheng said.
“It will be a tough match, that’s for sure. I will give everything I have.
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Zheng, who has been training in Spain for the past two years, was the only Chinese player to pass the first round of the tournament.
“I always know that I have the level to do something,” said the youngster, who worked with Carlos Rodriguez, the former coach of Justine Henin and Li Na, at his academy in Beijing.
“I know what I can do and I have to be patient and wait for the time to come.”
Zheng, inspired by Li’s triumph at the French Open in 2011 when she became the first player of Asian descent to win a Grand Slam singles title, tries not to look too far ahead.
“My expectation at Roland-Garros is just to go game by game and give everything I have on the court.”
“Competing in a Grand Slam was one of my childhood dreams… and I feel that I always have to give my best on the court,” she added.
“I only feel excited to play in the big stadium.”