HANGZHOU, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's women's tennis team will strive to defend their titles, while the men's players are also on track for the gold medals at the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou.
With a total of 11 athletes to compete in all five events, China sent six female and five male athletes to Hangzhou, including promising stars Zheng Qinwen, Zhang Zhizhen and Wu Yibing.
Zheng Qinwen, currently ranked 22nd in the world, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 US Open after defeating last year's runner-up Ons Jabeur, marking a significant breakthrough by reaching the final eight of a Grand Slam event for the first time. Zheng, nicknamed "Queen Wen", expressed her expectations for her first trip to the Asian Games.
"There's no special reason. It's merely for honor and I hope to win glory for my country," the 20-year-old said.
While in the women's doubles, defending champions Yang Zhaoxuan and Xu Yifan poised as favorites to retain the glory on home soil.
Zhang Zhizhen rocketed to 52nd in July, a record high in the world rankings for Chinese mainland men's tennis players and for the first time defeated a world top-five player in the US Open. Zhang told Xinhua that his main goal for the Hangzhou Asian Games is still to win a gold medal in the singles, adding that he will also look for good results in doubles and mixed doubles.
Wu Yibing, born in Hangzhou in 1999, took a silver medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018 when he was 18 years old and ranked outside 300th in the world at that time. Five years on, he is filled with strong confidence now.
"My aim is to grab all the golds in men's tennis," Wu said about his Asian Games goal.
In spite of fierce competition from Japan, South Korea and India, Zhang and Wu will jointly lead China's fight for the top of the podium.
Tennis became an official competition event at the Tokyo Asian Games in 1958. The tennis events in Hangzhou feature men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles, having men's and women's team events reduced compared with the previous Asian Games, in which China achieved two golds and two silver medals. ■