Zheng Qinwen, last season's WTA Newcomer of the Year, demonstrated some of how she earned that title during her first match at the 2023 Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Tuesday.
Zheng Qinwen graces cover of GQ China
The World No.24 from China was down a set to No.5 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece, but the 20-year-old continued to fight for every point -- culminating with an outrageous tweener down the line for a magical winner at the end of a rally at 2-2 in the second set.
Her effort even drew the praise of someone who knows a thing or two about rising to the occasion in Doha: two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka.
Qinwen Zheng just absolutely bodied the tweener…best one I have seen on @wta #qatartennis— victoria azarenka (@vika7) February 14, 2023
Sakkari regrouped after the second set and defeated Zheng in three sets to advance to the second round. Nevertheless, for Zheng -- affectionately known as "Queenwen" by fans -- this hot shot proved to be appropriately royal.