Do-gooder and 2008 Wimbledon semi-finalist, Zheng Jie, should be doubly proud or her accomplishments this week.
1. She’s moved up the rankings to a career high No. 16, equaling the best ever record for a Chinese player (set by Li Na in 2007.)
2. Zheng returned home to Sichuan Province, yesterday, to visit young survivors of last year’s tragic earthquake.
You’ll remember that Zheng made headlines last year for donating all of her Wimbledon prize money to earthquake relief efforts.
Here’s more from the WTA on the inspirational Ms. Zheng:
April 15, 2009: SHIFANG, China – Zheng Jie, a Sichuan native, returned home on Wednesday near the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that killed nearly 69,000 people. Zheng, who last year donated her Wimbledon prize money to the earthquake victims, shared her personal story of success at the Hong Bai School in Shifang, Sichuan Province, providing hope and inspiration to the children. Students also had a chance to play tennis and receive tips from the three-time Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title holder.
Zheng and the Tour donated Wilson racquets and balls, while Anta and Mercedes Benz partnered to also make donations to the school children. Through cooperation with school authorities, the Tour will also invite two students along with their families to the upcoming China Open in October as a reward for their outstanding performance in sports and academia, as well as their courage and determination in the face of the Sichuan earthquake.
“I was born and raised in Sichuan and feel a responsibility to help rebuild my hometown,” Zheng said about the visit to her home province. “With this visit and tennis equipment and accessories, we want to bring hope and cheer to these children. I want them to feel all the support of their community, China and the world and I hope they will continue to be strong and never give up or give in.”
Click here to read the full story.
Li Na is another Chinese player making headlines this week – for continuing her outspoken ways against her country’s nationalized sports system. Click here to read Dootsiez’s take at “All I Need is a Picket Fence.”
Jie Zheng photo: sina.com.cn via HCFoo