Chinese tennis star Qinwen Zheng says menstrual cramps derailed French Open run against Iga Świątek


After knocking out world number one tennis player, Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen said she suffered from menstrual cramps when she lost to Poland’s Iga Świątek in the fourth round of French Open on Monday.

Zheng, 19, looked set for a major upset as she won the opener in a tie-break before Świątek took control to win 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2 for his 32nd consecutive victory.

While Zheng said she didn’t feel any pain in the first set, she took a medical timeout at 3-0 in the second, getting a back massage on the court before heading to the locker room and returning. with his right thigh tied.

“Yeah, the leg was also hard. Compared to the stomach, it was easy…I can’t play tennis, (my) stomach was too sore,” said Zheng, now ranked 55th in the WTA rankings, to reporters afterwards.

“It’s just girl stuff, you know. The first day is always so hard, and then I have to play sports and I’m always in so much pain on the first day. And I couldn’t go against my nature.

“I wish I could be a man on the court, but I can’t right now… I really wish I could be (a) man (to) not have to suffer from this.”


Zheng – who made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open this year – said she tried her best to compete but was happy to have reached week two.

The Chinese star beat both Simona Halep and Alize Cornet en route to the fourth-round clash against Świątek.

“If I don’t talk about today, I’m happy with my performance (on) this race. And playing against the world number one, I felt that I really enjoyed (that) on the pitch” , she added.

“If I don’t have the belly [pain], I think I could have more fun, enjoy running better and hitting harder, trying harder on the court. It’s a shame that I couldn’t give what I wanted to give today.

“I just want [it so that] the next time I play against her, I [am in] perfect shape.”

Świątek’s victory means she now equals the record held by Justine Henin for most consecutive wins on the WTP Tour, with only Venus and Serena Williams tallying more consecutive wins since 2000. In the quarter-finals, Świątek will face the 11th seed from series Jessica Pegula.


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