Zheng Qinwen: Menstrual cramps derail Chinese teen’s French Open dream in loss to Swiatek

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Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen suffered with menstrual cramps as she lost to Polandโ€™s Iga Swiatek in the French Open fourth round on Monday after taking a set off the worldโ€™s number one tennis player.

Zheng, 19, looked on track for a major upset when she claimed the opener in a tiebreak before Swiatek took control to win 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2 for her 32nd straight victory.

Zheng said she had no pain during the opening set but took a medical time out at 3-0 down in the second, having her back massaged on court before going to the locker room and returning with her right thigh strapped.

โ€œYeah, the leg was also tough. That compared to the stomach was easyโ€ฆI cannot play my tennis, (my) stomach was too painful,โ€ Zheng, ranked 74 in the world, told reporters.

โ€œItโ€™s just girlsโ€™ things, you know. The first day is always so tough and then I have to do sport and I always have so much pain in the first day. And I couldnโ€™t go against my nature.

โ€œI wish I can be a man on court, but I cannot in that momentโ€ฆI really wish I can be (a) man (so) that I donโ€™t have to suffer from this.โ€

Zheng, who made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open this year, said she had tried her best to compete but was happy she had progressed to the second week.

โ€œIf I donโ€™t talk about today, Iโ€™m happy with my performance (on) this run. And to play against the number one in the world, I felt I really enjoyed (it) on the court,โ€ she added.

โ€œIf I donโ€™t have my stomach (pain) I think I could enjoy more, like to run better and to hit harder, to give more effort on court. Itโ€™s a pity that I couldnโ€™t give what I want to give today.

โ€œI just want (it so that) next time I play against her, I (am in) perfect shape.โ€

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