The World No. 24, whose fans call her "Queen-wen", has had a difficult time recently after her coach Wim Fissette ended their collaboration to return to Naomi Osaka, leaving Zheng coachless on the Asian Swing. Prior to this, the 21-year-old had achieved an amazing run at the US Open, defeating fifth seed Ons Jabeur to reach the quarter-final.
However, she appeared to be struggling at the China Open last week, where she was unable to put up a fight against Elena Rybakina in the opening round. Nevertheless, she now seems to be back on form as she downed third seed Sakkari in front of a home crowd.
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Zheng fires off thirteen aces for straight-sets win
Zheng started out strong, breaking Sakkari in her second service game for a 2-1 lead. However, the World No. 6 kept fighting back and her persistence paid off when she broke back to level the set shortly afterwards.
Sakkari's service game then went to a deuce, and a double bounce on Zheng's side gave the Greek player the advantage to help her hold. She then proceeded to hold again in order to ensure a tiebreak at least. At this point, Zheng was serving to stay in the set and found herself in some trouble when it went to a deuce. However, the tiebreak was needed following two unforced errors from Sakkari.
Zheng began the tiebreak with a mini-break on the first point before she held both her service points to build up a 3-0 lead. Sakkari then fought back but an ace from Zheng helped her to extend the lead, much to her opponent's frustration. Ultimately, the Chinese player found herself with four set points and she successfully converted the first one.
The second set was more straightforward for Zheng as she continued to fire off a load of aces against her opponent. She amassed three break points at 3-2 and converted the first for a 40-0 break. She then held until she could serve for the set.
Zheng opened her final service game with her twelfth ace of the match and soon achieved three match points. In the end, she only needed one as she sealed the win with yet another ace.
Zheng will face Anhelina Kalinina in the quarter-final of the Zhengzhou Open.