China's Wang Qiang makes a backhand return to Tunisia's Ons Jabeur during their fourth round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Jan 26, 2020. (DITA ALANGKARA / AP)
Wang Qiang shot to prominence at the Australian Open after beating tennis legend Serena Williams in round three
Wang shot to prominence at the tournament after beating tennis legend Serena Williams in round three.
However, the 28-year-old was unable to back up the impressive win, telling Xinhua after the match that regardless of the result she is proud of her progress during the event.
“I did a really good job in the third round, but today the performance is not so good,” Wang said.
Wang praised Jabeur’s powerful style and conceded that on the day she was out-played.
“The beginning of the first set she played not so well but after that she played more aggressive and I played too passively today,” Wang said.
In a nervous start to the match, Wang dropped her first serve, but quickly struck back, comfortably taking Jabeur’s serve in return.
Settling into her rhythm, Wang hammered shots from the back of the court and appeared like she was primed for an easy run into the quarterfinals.
Tunisia's Ons Jabeur makes a forehand return to ChinaÅfs Wang Qiang during their fourth round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Jan 26, 2020. (DITA ALANGKARA / AP)
However, Jabeur’s slices emerged as a challenge for Wang and the Tunisian also found the back of the court, starting to fire powerful winners.
Despite a shaky start, Jabeur claimed the first set in a tiebreak, placing the pressure firmly back on the Chinese’ side of the net.
Once again, Wang stumbled early, dropping her first serve in the second set and quickly facing an insurmountable, 4 game to 0 deficit.
The air appeared to have left the Chinese players sails and a series of unforced errors which saw the ball sailing over the baseline, or into the net, didn’t help her frustration.
“She made me uncomfortable with slices and drop shots. She has many different shots and I think today she defended very well and she played aggressive tennis,” Wang said.
Meanwhile, teen sensation Coco Guaff’s astonishing run at the Australian Open also ended in round 4, slowly crumbling against her countrywoman, Sofia Kenin, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-0.
The 15-year-old shed as her tournament ended, an event which saw her topple three hugely challenging players, including Venus Williams and defending champion, Naomi Osaka.
“The thing I’m most proud of myself is how I handled on the court. Even though today I lost a set 6-0 I was still believing that I can win, so I just tried my best,” Guaff said.
“I’m doing well right now at 15 and I still have so much I feel like I can get better on. I don’t think this is even close to a peak for me.”
Kenin and Jabeur will now face off in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
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