3 things to know about 2024 Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng

Qinwen Zheng is well known in her native China but lesser known around the world.

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21-year-old Chinese tennis player Qinwen Zheng has advanced into her first Grand Slam final at the 2024 Australian Open. In addition, Zheng will be ranked within the Top 10 for the first time when updated rankings come out on Monday. Zheng is well-known in China, but that is not the case elsewhere. Here are three things to know about her.

Zheng has been a player on the rise for the past couple of years since her emergence on the WTA Tour in 2021. In 2022, she was voted WTA's Newcomer of the Year. She followed that up with the 2023 WTA award of Most Improved Player. She has two WTA career titles, and her previous best performance in a Grand Slam was at the 2023 US Open when she advanced to the quarterfinals. Zheng was the finalist at the WTA Elite Trophy event losing in straight sets to Beatriz Haddad-Maia.

Pere Riba is Zheng's coach. He was her coach in 2021, but they parted ways in 2023. Riba, along with Brad Gilbert, were members of Coco Gauff's coaching team. Riba is credited with helping Zheng rise from 169th to 19th in the world and is also part of the reason Gauff had trememdous success in the summer of 2023 winning in Washington, Cincinnati, and then her maiden Grand Slam at the US Open. Riba is back coaching Zheng in 2024. While Riba was coaching Gauff, Zheng was coached by Wim Fissette who was/is Naomi Osaka's coach.

Qinwen Zheng is a fan of Li Na.

Li Na put Chinese tennis on the map in 2014 when she won the Australian Open. Zheng hopes to have the success Li Na had and looks up to her. Li Na gave Zheng sage advice as she advanced through the 2024 Australian Open later rounds. That was to keep it simple. Qinwen Zheng will attempt to do that as she takes the court as the underdog to Aryna Sabalenka in the final.

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