Despite loss, Zhu becomes 1st Chinese in French Open wheelchair singles final

Xinhua
Despite a defeat to top seed Diede de Groot of the Netherlands in the French Open on Saturday, Zhu Zhenzhen has already made history.
Xinhua

Despite a defeat to top seed Diede de Groot of the Netherlands in the French Open on Saturday, Zhu Zhenzhen has already made history, becoming the first player from China to appear in a Grand Slam wheelchair singles final.

Four-time French Open winner De Groot came from one set down to retain her title with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory, increasing her total number of Grand Slam singles titles to 22. She has swept all the major titles since the 2020 US Open, including an Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020.

"The feeling is very mixed and complicated. I was very excited after the semifinal victory, but after that, I was very calm and just focused on preparing for the final. Even now, I'm feeling just calm and thinking about the gap between me and my opponent today," Zhu told Xinhua after the final.

"She is a very experienced player who knows well how to play on the big stage, especially in Grand Slam finals. I knew I should practice more to catch up with her," Zhu added. "Hopefully, I could make another Grand Slam final appearance in the near future."

The 34-year-old Zhu made her mark in the Grand Slam tournaments by reaching the doubles final, paring with Yui Kamiji of Japan, in the Australian Open 2023, before losing to the Dutch duo De Groot and Aniek van Koot 6-3, 6-2.

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