Zheng Jie: Earning Her Day in the Sun

A lot of people are going to publish articles about Samantha Stosur in the next few hours.

About how she lost early in Australia again. About how she snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and how she once again crumbled under the pressure of playing at home. How she choked and let her undersized opponent back into the match. About how she is a talented player with a big serve and forehand, how she has won a Grand Slam title, and how mysterious it is that she cannot string together wins in her home country.

This will not be one of those articles.

Instead, I’m going to talk about Zheng Jie. A player without the Slam title but arguably twice the talent with flat strokes that belie her size. A pioneer for Chinese tennis, the first Chinese woman to reach a major semifinal at Wimbledon. A courageous competitor who took Serena Williams to 9-7 in the third on the London lawns a year ago and beat Stosur herself two weeks ago in a three grueling sets.

Zheng Jie wasn’t the supporting act to a Stosur meltdown.

The winner of her second round match, defeating Stosur 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

Zheng took the court understandably full of belief; her opponent’s struggles in Australia are as notorious as they are well documented. Combine those external circumstances with the inconvenient truth that Zheng’s flat, on the rise groundstrokes match up well against Stosur’s more mechanical, time-dependent game style and the unseeded Chinesewoman was the overwhelming favorite.

She certainly played like the favorite for most of the first set. Taking precious time away from Stosur, Zheng dominated the No. 9 seed from the back of the court, showing the partisan crowd why she has been ranked as high as 15 in the world. Despite a late wobble, she closed on her eighth set point and looked set to be Stosur’s yearly Melbourne conqueror.

For the next set and a half, things began to change. Stosur stopped missing, and Zheng’s laser-like shots lost their pinpoint accuracy. The crowd got involved and for a moment, Stosur forgot she was playing in Australia. As the Chinesewoman fell behind a double break in the third set she struck a disconsolate figure, out of energy and out of ideas.

In a manner reminiscent of everywhere (not just Australia), Stosur began to pull back. The embarrassing shanks that haunted her throughout the first set were coming in streams. Despite a jittery finish, she still found herself within two points of the third round.

Enter “JZ.” Like a boss.

Using her veteran sensibility, Zheng took full advantage of the shorter ball she was now getting. She stepped up and into the court, outfoxing Stosur from the baseline and passing her at the net. Breaking the Aussie twice to level, the rest of the match appeared only a formality. Stosur had retreated, Zheng had advanced; there would be no more violent shifts in momentum.

Almost three days into the first week, this match was one of the best the tournament had to offer. The first match on Rod Laver Arena to go the distance, it exhibited breathtaking rallies, intelligent shotmaking, and a very tense ending. But it was not a match that Sam Stosur lost.

This was a match that Zheng Jie won.

It was a hard-earned victory, one that does not deserved to be sullied by the insinuation that she benefited from a choke. Stosur may have left the door open on her way to the round of 32, but it was up to Zheng to walk through and kick the Aussie out.

Kick she did, and she was rewarded with a day in the sun.

 

19 Responses to Zheng Jie: Earning Her Day in the Sun

  • Pingback: 2013 Australian Open: Day 3 Update 16 January

  • my site says:

    I just want to say I am just all new to blogging and site-building and definitely savored you’re web site. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with outstanding articles and reviews. Regards for sharing your blog site.

  • I simply want to say I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and certainly liked this page. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You really come with impressive writings. Thanks a bunch for sharing your web page.

  • look at here says:

    I simply want to mention I am new to blogs and really savored this web site. Almost certainly I’m likely to bookmark your website . You certainly have wonderful articles and reviews. With thanks for revealing your web page.

  • wbay.com says:

    Great write-up, I am regular visitor of one¡¦s website, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  • I’m curious to find out what blog system you have been utilizing? I’m having some small security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

  • church seats says:

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any tips to help fix this problem?

  • An Analysis Of Key Criteria Of Sacramento Tax Attorneys cartica038x7 Tax Lawyer Accountant Sacramento

  • What Is the Average Fertility Testing Cost? at:: InfertilityCure.tk

  • I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any
    interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.
    In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire
    out a designer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

  • Unquestionably imagine that that you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be at
    the net the easiest factor to bear in mind of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while folks think about worries that they plainly do not recognize about.

    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out the entire
    thing with no need side-effects , folks could take a signal.
    Will probably be again to get more. Thanks

  • I could not resist commenting. Very well written!

  • Donella says:

    I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of
    house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site.
    Studying this info So i’m glad to exhibit that I have a very excellent uncanny
    feeling I discovered exactly what I needed.
    I most without a doubt will make certain to do not forget this site and give
    it a glance on a continuing basis.

  • Tarsha says:

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.

    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had
    spent for this information! Thanks!

  • Lea says:

    Excellent blog right here! Also your site a lot up very fast!
    What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your associate
    link on your host? I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • Katelyn says:

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before
    but after going through many of the articles I realized
    it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  • t.zaoan.cc says:

    That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  • Roberto says:

    Great information. Lucky me I recently found your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have bookmarked it for later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>