Chinese 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen said she was eager for the chance to test herself against Iga Swiatek after setting up a last-16 meeting with the world number one and former Roland Garros champion.
Zheng, who shocked 2018 French Open winner Simona Halep in the previous round, advanced Saturday when Alize Cornet retired with a thigh injury while trailing 6-0, 3-0.
The 74th-ranked Zheng is making her debut in Paris, having appeared at her first Grand Slam in Australia this year. She will attempt to end Swiatek’s 31-match winning run stretching back to February. The Pole won the title in Paris as a teenager in 2020.
“Of course she’s wonderful player. Actually, I have been prepared for this match, because I really want to play against her. So I’m excited for this match,” said Zheng.
“It will be a tough match, for sure. I will give everything I have.”
Zheng, who has trained in Spain for the past two years, was the only Chinese player to make it past 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 to wait for the moment to come.”
Zheng, inspired by Li’s 2011 French Open triumph when she became the first Asian-born player to win a Grand Slam singles title, is trying not to look too far ahead.
“My expectation in the French Open is just go match by match and to give everything I have on court.”
“To be in a Grand Slam is one of my childhood dreams... and I feel just I have to give my best always on the court,” she added.
“I only feel excited to play on the big stadium.”
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