Tennis Prose



Shuai Zhang’s Horror Slump

Shuai Zhang is ranked 29 in the world in singles but her confidence tank is on empty. The Chinese veteran has suffered through a horrific slump of not winning one singles match since the start of February Today she lost 60 60 to Anna Lena Friedsam in Strasbourg.

Zhang’s last singles win was in early February in Lyon, a 63 62 win vs American Madison Brengle. In the next round the 34 year old was beaten by Maryna Zavenska 62 60 and has not win a match ever since, though there were a few close calls which ended in heartbreaking losses – Abu Dhabi 64 67 46 to Anett Kontaveit, Charleston to Julie Grabner 46 61 36.

Zhang actually began the 2023 season fairly well. Though she lost first round at both Adelaide tournaments, she made the round of 16 at Australian Open by beating Tig, Volynets and Martic before losing to Pliskova 06 46.

Zhang has won three singles titles in her career and thirteen doubles titles, including the 2019 Australian Open doubles with Sam Stosur. Her best singles ranking was no. 1, and in doubles she was no. 2.

Zhang is perhaps best known for her miracle run to the quarterfinals at the 2016 Australian Open. Before that tournament, Zhang had lost in the first round of every Grand Slam main draw she played (14 first round failures) and was about to quit playing pro tennis at age 27. That unexpected run changed her career.

But once again, Zhang is struggling through an awful four month slump. And if anybody knows about perseverance, persistence and not giving up, it’s Shuai Zhang.

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