World No. 133 Zhang Shuai surprised the world when she defeated World No. 2 Simona Halep on day two of the 2016 Australian Open. The Chinese won in straight sets 6-4 6-3.
Zhang’s grand slam match win against Halep was her first in 15 attempts losing the previous 14 matches. The girl from China was in tears after her monumental win against the 2014 French Open finalist.
Zhang’s doubles partner in the 2012 London Olympics was Li Na. Zhang appreciated the help of the 2014 Australian Open champion, she revealed in an emotional post-match interview.
“Li Na is a great player and gave me a lot of help so thank you to her.” Zhang said, as reported by news.com.au.
Zhang also thanked her coach and parents for supporting her through tough times.
The Margaret Court Arena crowd gave Zhang a tremendous ovation after her brilliant victory. Zhang also received support from other players on Twitter.
The match lasted for an hour and 18 minutes, in which Zhang save nine break points.
The 24-year-old Halep has been recovering from an Achilles injury. The Romanian had no answers for Zhang’s dominant baseline game.
Zhang went into the duel with the worst record for a tennis player in the top 300. All the odds were stacked in favor of Halep to acquire the victory.
All of the pre-match predictions went down the bin after the match started. Zhang utilized on Halep’s scrappy performance and made the Romanian pay for her woeful service. The Chinese dominated Halep through her baseline game.
The 2016 Australian Open has started with a host of upsets. Zhang’s win over Halep was the second in a span of two hours after Spanish hotshot Rafael Nadal crashed out of the tournament against Fernando Verdasco.
The defeat came as a huge setback to Halep’s plans who stated before the tournament that her ultimate goal was to attain a Grand Slam glory.
Picture courtesy: Wikipedia