China's 'Awesome Foursome' make history at US Open

For the first time in the Open Era, four Chinese women have advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam.

The Chinese quartet of Zheng Qinwen, Zhang Shuai, Wang Xiyu and qualifier Yuan Yue continue to take Chinese tennis to new heights with their respective performances at Flushing Meadows this week.

Perhaps the most unlikeliest of the four is Yuan, who only made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon just months ago after her sixth attempt at qualifying for a Slam.

Even so, Yuan admitted to wtatennis.com that her pre-US Open form wasn't exactly ideal either…

"Actually, I [feel] I'm not ready to play in the third round of a Grand Slam," said the 23-year-old.

"Before this tournament, I played an ITF 60K and I lost in the first round of the main draw. So I'm kind of confused. It just happened."

Nonetheless, Yuan - who has a tough assignment against eighth seed Jessica Pegula on Saturday - is thrilled that her and her team-mates have pushed each other to new heights.

"I'm so proud that I can be a part of this team," added the world number 142.

"I think for our Chinese players, Covid was very difficult. It was hard to travel. But we grow stronger. Sometimes the difficult things make you stronger."

At just 19 years old, Zheng is one of China's brightest prospects. The world number 39 qualified for her fourth consecutive Slam in New York, making 2022 a breakout year for the right-hander. At the french Open, Zheng went as far as the fourth round in her debut appearance in Paris.

"I think this is so positive," said Zheng of her compatriots reaching the third round.

"In China, the tennis starts to go up. I think between each other we have good competition between each other. When you have someone to compete [with], you always can [perform] better. I think with this energy, I hope all of us, we can go as far as we can."

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