US Open: 'No one was worse than me' – Zhang relishes grand slam success after major struggles

By Sports Desk September 04, 2022

Zhang Shuai went winless in her first 14 appearances at major tournaments but has turned her fortunes around as she prepares for a US Open fourth-round clash with Coco Gauff.

The Chinese tennis player was said to be considering retirement in 2015 after 14 unsuccessful attempts at grand slams, though was convinced to keep fighting by friend and fellow competitor Sam Stosur.

Simona Halep at the 2016 Australian Open was the first scalp Zhang claimed at a major before she went on to reach the quarter-finals.

The 33-year-old, who has two grand slams titles in doubles with Stosur, has not looked back from that win over Halep and has made it to the second week at all four majors in 2022.

"This year, I already have three third rounds," Zhang said after her third-round win at the US Open. "Oh my god, I won six matches! Before I couldn't win one match in many, many years. How happy!

"That's why when we meet some players who want to stop or feels sad after the match, I always tell them next match, see how you are better.

"When I started the tour, how bad [were my] results? No one was worse than me. [These girls are] much better than me, right? You guys are still young. Keep trying."

Gauff awaits Zhang in the round-of-16 as the latter searches for a maiden major success and fourth singles title.

Related items

  • Murray confirms retirement after Olympics Murray confirms retirement after Olympics

    Andy Murray has confirmed he will retire after the Olympic Games in Paris.

    The 37-year-old is set to compete in both the men's singles and doubles at what will be his fifth Olympics.

    Murray first competed in Beijing in 2008 and won his first gold medal four years later in London with a straight-sets victory over Roger Federer.

    He then became the first male player to win two singles titles at the Games by beating Juan Martin del Potro in Rio in 2016.

    In a post on X, Murray wrote: "Arrived in Paris for my last ever tennis tournament.

    "Competing for Team GB has been by far the most memorable weeks of my career and I'm extremely proud to get to do it one final time!"

    Murray made his final appearance at Wimbledon, where he is a two-time champion, before the Olympics, suffering a first-round defeat with brother Jamie in the doubles.

    He later received an emotional tribute on Centre Court to mark his achievements at the tournament. 

  • Zverev confident of retaining Olympic gold despite injury concerns Zverev confident of retaining Olympic gold despite injury concerns

    Alexander Zverev is confident of claiming a second Olympic gold medal at the Paris games despite picking up an injury at Wimbledon earlier this month. 

    Zverev slipped during his third-round triumph against Cameron Norrie in SW19, bowing out of the competition in a five-set to Taylor Fritz in the following round. 

    The world number four has since competed in the Hamburg Open, a title he won a year ago, but fell at the final hurdle to Arthur Fils in a decisive final set tie-break. 

    Zverev, who became the first German to win an Olympic gold medal in singles since Steffi Graf did so in 1988, beat Karen Khachanov in the final in Tokyo four years ago.

    The German described his injury as a bone edema and torn capsule and said that it did not require surgery ahead of the games. 

    "To be honest, you know, the risk will stay for the next two, three, four weeks maybe because that's how long the bone heals, and that's what everybody told me," Zverev said.

    "But, at the end of the day I also knew that I don't want to rest for four weeks because, now we're playing on the surface where I don't see that big of a risk of doing the same motion again and doing the same movement again."

    The tennis will take place at Roland Garros, a venue well-known to Zverev who reached the French Open final earlier this year, losing out on a first grand slam title to Carlos Alcaraz in five sets. 

    Zverev is also on the shortlist of German athletes who could be flagbearer for the nation during Friday's opening ceremony.

    "If someone told me that I should walk in as a flag bearer, it would mean even more to me, to be honest (than winning the Olympics)," Zverev was quoted by SpilXperten.

    "Leading an entire nation and so many top German athletes into the Olympics is simply the greatest honour an athlete can receive.

    "And of course, the gold medal I won at the last Olympics is one of the highest achievements you can have in sports and for me personally the greatest success in my career."

  • Vondrousova pulls out of Olympics as Hurkacz fails to recover in time Vondrousova pulls out of Olympics as Hurkacz fails to recover in time

    Marketa Vondrousova has withdrawn from the upcoming Paris Olympics with a hand injury.

    The former Wimbledon champion, whose title defence was ended by Jessica Bouzas Maneiro in the first round earlier this month, was a silver medallist in Tokyo three years ago, losing out on gold to Belinda Bencic.

    The Czech was aiming to go the extra step this time around at Roland-Garros, where she reached the French Open final in 2019.

    However, Vondrousova has instead chosen to focus on preparing for the final major of 2024 at the US Open in August.

    "I am very sorry, but due to health reasons, I will not be participating in this year's Olympic Games in Paris," she posted on Instagram.

    "I hoped until the last moment that I could go at least in doubles, but problems with my hand won't allow me on the court."

    Vondrousova joins Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur and Emma Raducanu on the absentee list for the women's tournament, while the men's event will not feature world number seven Hubert Hurkacz.

    The Pole, who was forced to retire with a knee injury during his second-round match at Wimbledon, has failed to recover in time.

    Meanwhile, Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, ranked seventh in the world, has also withdrawn from the men's competition.

    The 27-year-old has not recovered from a knee injury which forced him to retire from his second-round match at Wimbledon.

    "My rehabilitation is going very well, and I am making continuous progress," he said in a video posted on his Instagram Stories. "However, my team and I have decided that I am unable to compete in the Olympic Games in Paris.

    "This was a very, very difficult decision because I have always dreamed of representing Poland at the Olympics, being able to win a medal for the national team, but unfortunately, my health does not allow it this year."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.