Zheng Qinwen advanced to the 2024 Australian Open semifinals on Wednesday and history awaits her if she wins two more. The 21-year-old now is so close to becoming the second Chinese to rule Melbourne Park.
Zheng survived a first-set breakdown to get past Russian Anna Kalinskaya, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1, in a thrilling quarterfinal. The world No.15 is so close to matching the feat of Li Na, who made the historic feat Down Under ten years ago.
In her ninth main draw at a major, Zheng tallied 42 winners against 35 unforced errors to wear down Kalinskaya. The Beijing native now becomes the third Chinese – and the youngest, too – to get this far in Melbourne.
“I told myself to be focused and not think anymore about the first set,” Zheng said afterward. “She (Kalinskaya) played really well today and the first set was a big competition.”
“Really happy to be in the semifinals, especially with such a good performance like this,” she added.
Zheng, who considers Li as her idol, next faces world No.93 Dayana Yastremska. The Ukrainian earned her place in the last four with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Linda Noskova in a 78-minute match.
The win assured Zheng a place in the ATP top 10 list regardless of her semis result against Yastremska.