• Zheng Jie happy to be out of China's state system - [Sports news]

    2009-12-20 | Tag:tennis


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    Zheng Jie of China returns a shot to Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic during their match at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto August 20, 2009.

    BEIJING: China's number two Zheng Jie has no plans to return to the state sports system and is happy with her first year of self-management despite the extra effort and lack of security it entailed.

    Along with compatriots Li Na, Yan Zi and Peng Shuai, the 26-year-old was this year freed from the obligation to be managed by the China Tennis Association (CTA), and pay 65 percent of her winnings for the privilege.

    CTA chief Sun Jinfang said last month she thought Zheng was in decline and, like other "less talented and more hardworking" players, would be better off back inside the national system.

    Zheng, who finished last season ranked 35th in the world with $534,172 in winnings, said it was inevitable that the first year of managing herself would have been a learning experience.

    "I am one of the first to try this and in the first year, I crossed the river feeling the stones," Zheng told China Weekly magazine.

    "My obligation is to try my best to get good results. As to whether I am suitable for self-management, I am not sure what is the standard we judge by, ranking or prize money?"

    Zheng was the first Chinese player to reach the last four of a grand slam when she lost in the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, and followed that up with a doubles bronze at the Beijing Olympics.