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Yan Zi

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Title: Yan Zi  
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Subject: Zheng Jie, 2008 Pacific Life Open – Women's Doubles, Tennis at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's doubles, 2006 Qatar Telecom German Open – Doubles, 2006 Australian Open – Women's Doubles
Collection: 1984 Births, Asian Games Medalists in Tennis, Australian Open (Tennis) Champions, Chinese Female Tennis Players, Grand Slam (Tennis) Champions in Women's Doubles, Living People, Medalists at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Olympic Bronze Medalists for China, Olympic Medalists in Tennis, Olympic Tennis Players of China, Sportspeople from Chengdu, Tennis Players at the 2002 Asian Games, Tennis Players at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Tennis Players at the 2006 Asian Games, Tennis Players at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Tennis Players at the 2010 Asian Games, Wimbledon Champions
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Yan Zi

Yàn Zī
Country (sports)  China/ Hong Kong
Residence Hong Kong
Born (1984-11-12) November 12, 1984
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned pro February 2003
Plays Right-handed (two-handed both sides)
Prize money US $1,977,871
Career record 199–160
Career titles 1 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest ranking No. 40 (5 May 2008)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (2006)
French Open 1R (2006, 2008)
Wimbledon 1R (2006, 2007, 2008)
US Open 1R (2006, 2007, 2008)
Career record 375–179
Career titles 17 WTA, 16 ITF
Highest ranking No. 4 (10 July 2006)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (2006)
French Open SF (2006)
Wimbledon W (2006)
US Open QF (2005, 2006, 2008)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games Bronze medal (2008)
Last updated on: August 25, 2014.

Yan Zi (Chinese: 晏紫; pinyin: Yàn Zī; born November 12, 1984), is a Hong Kong-based Chinese professional tennis player. She represented Hong Kong in the last few months of her career.


  • Career summary 1
  • Singles career in detail 2
    • 2002–2003 2.1
    • 2004 2.2
    • 2005 2.3
    • 2006 2.4
    • 2007 2.5
    • 2008 2.6
    • 2009 2.7
  • WTA career finals 3
    • Singles: 1 (1–0) 3.1
    • Doubles: 28 (17–11) 3.2
  • Performance timelines 4
    • Singles performance timeline 4.1
    • Women's Doubles performance timeline 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Career summary

In 2005, at the age of 20, Yan Zi won her only WTA Tour singles title at the Guangzhou Tier III tournament.[1]

In singles, she first reached the World Top 100 in January 2006, achieving a then career-high of World No. 72 that March before failing to defend her breakthrough run of results the previous year and dropping back outside the Top 100 that October. Her ranking had slumped to 262 by February 2007 after a year of disappointing results, but her results then picked up again over the rest of 2007; and she regained the top 100 for the first time in ten months after a spectacular run at Canada's Tier I Rogers Cup in August, reaching the semifinals before finally being heavily defeated by World No. 1 Justine Henin 3–6, 0–6.[2]

In doubles, Yan Zi's highest ranking to date is number 4 and she has won two grand slam titles partnering with Zheng Jie. While she has been good at doubles, her singles performance has been inconsistent as her form fluctuates. She has winning records against top 10 stars Jelena Janković 2–0, Ana Ivanovic 1–0, and Marion Bartoli 1–0.

Singles career in detail


Until January 2002, Yan met with mixed results as a singles player in the lower reaches of the ITF tournament hierarchy. But that month, she reached the final of a $10,000 ITF event at Hull, losing to Liu Nannan. In May, she avenged this defeat with a win over Liu in the first round of a $50,000 tournament at Fukuoka; and again in August she defeated Liu, this time in the quarter-final of a $25,000 tournament at Beijing, only to lose to Rika Fujiwara in the semifinal. In September, she qualified for the WTA Tour contest at Shanghai, only to lose in the first round. But she had reached numerous ITF quarter-finals during the year, and finished it ranked for the first time inside the world Top 300, at #299.

In February 2003, she narrowly failed to qualify at Hyderabad, losing to Maria Kirilenko in a tight three-set match in the final round of qualifying. She put in her career-best performance to date at Fukuoka, reaching the semi-final with wins over Rika Fujiwara and countrywoman Sun Tiantian, before losing to Japanese star Saori Obata despite winning more games, the scoreline standing at 6–2, 6–7, 5–7. In July, she qualified for a WTA event at Palermo by defeating Zheng Jie and Ivana Abramović, then fell in the main draw first round to Italian rising star Francesca Schiavone in another three-setter in which she won more games than her victorious opponent, the scoreline this time being 6–0, 4–6, 3–6. These defeats suggest that she quickly runs out of steam after giving it all in the first set, thereby allowing her opponent to regroup and eventually pocket the contest. The same week, she defeated countrywoman Sun Tiantian to qualify for a $50,000 tournament at Modena, and in the main draw ousted Yulia Beygelzimer and Adriana Serra Zanetti en route to a quarter-final loss. In September, she qualified for another WTA event, the Japan Open, and defeated Ashley Harkleroad in Round Two before losing, on this occasion, to Zheng Jie in the quarter-finals. In December, she reached the semi-final of a $50,000 tournament for the second time in the year, beating Tzipora Obziler in the quarter-final at Changsha before losing to another of her prominent countrywomen, Peng Shuai. The following week, she narrowly lost in the quarterfinal of the $50,000 contest at Shenzhen to future star Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria, 6–3, 1–6, 4–6. The year had brought great improvement to Yan's singles results, and her year-end ranking correspondingly improved to 179.


Unfortunately, 2004 set back the Chinese player's progress slightly, but it was the calm before the storm. The year began poorly for her with a string of early losses, although she was ambitiously targeting only WTA events now, raising the bar on the required standard for successful competition. She failed to win a first-round main draw match the entire year, meeting only with moderate success in qualifying rounds; and ultimately the only relief she could find towards salvaging her world ranking was a retreat to ITF events late in the year. She reached the semi-final of a $25,000 tournament at Beijing in September (losing again to Zheng Jie), and the same stage at Shenzhen 2 (where she shocked by Li Na in the quarter-finals, then lost yet again to Zheng). This late flourish of results was enough to limp her home to a year-end ranking of 248.


In January, 2005, Yan battled her way past three high-quality opponents, Julia Schruff, Shikha Uberoi and Melinda Czink, to qualify for Tennis Gold Coast, an important WTA event, where she was removed by Tatiana Golovin of France. Then in May, she managed to beat Uberoi again after qualifying for Rabat with a win over Tiantian Sun, only to lose to Arantxa Parra Santonja in the second round. Then in June, she surpassed her previous career-best result, reaching the final of a $50,000 tournament at Beijing with wins over Sun and Zheng, but lost in the final to less-feted countrywoman Li Ting. The following month, as a direct entrant to the WTA event at Modena, she defeated the much higher-ranked Marta Domachowska of Poland before losing a close three-setter to Sanda Mamić. In September, she avenged her defeat by Li Ting to qualify for Bali, only to succumb to Ting's former doubles partner Li Na in Round Two of the main draw.

On September 26, she began competing in the WTA event at Guangzhou, this year up-rated to Tier III status, and shocked herself by proceeding to win the entire tournament, having previously failed to win even one ITF singles title, and having only once reached the quarter-final stage at any WTA Tour event. To achieve this astonishing outcome, she had to produce some of her best tennis to conquer defending champion Li Na in the quarter-final, which she finally won 6–7, 7–5, 7–6 after an intense battle. The other matches against worthy opposition looked easy by comparison, as she crushed Marta Domachowska for the loss of just three games in Round Two, fought past impressive emerging teen star Victoria Azarenka 6–4, 6–3 in the semi-final, and was up 6–4, 4–0 against Nuria Llagostera Vives in the final when the Spaniard conceded victory.[1]

A semi-final result in November's $50,000 Shenzhen tournament capped off what had proved to be a superlative year for Yan, leaving her world-ranked 104, within the direct-entry threshold of Grand Slam events and minor WTA tournaments, and within the qualifying-entry threshold of even the more exclusive WTA fixtures.


Yan during the first round of the 2006 Australian Open.

She began 2006 by narrowly failing to qualify for Tennis Gold Coast, despite wins over Vania King and Shikha Uberoi, as the capable American Angela Haynes defeated her in three sets. But she succeeded in qualifying for Sydney with stunning straight-sets victories over Eva Birnerová, Denisa Chládková and Anastasia Yakimova, and beat the high-ranked Russian Anna Chakvetadze 6–3, 6–3 in the main draw first round before losing a three-set match to Francesca Schiavone, who had to struggle through a nail-bitingly close second-set tiebreak to avoid a straight sets loss to Yan, only to win the final set by a more comfortable margin.

As if these scores were not enough to prove her capability to the wider world, at the Australian Open she knocked out former No. 15 and the previous year's semi-finalist, Nathalie Dechy of France, in the first round, she then defeated unseeded Aleksandra Wozniak 6–3, 6–4, before suffering to former No. 19 Sybille Bammer. February brought more disappointing results in singles for Yan, as she lost a three-setter to Emma Laine of Finland at Pattaya, and failed to qualify for Doha and Dubai. But still, her January results and some points picked up in qualifying rounds in February had improved her world ranking to a career-best 66, just one place behind Li Na.


At the second round of the 2007 Canada Masters in Toronto, Canada she upset World No. 4 Ana Ivanovic with a score of 6–3, 6–1 in just over an hour, even as Ivanovic had a rare off day. She then beat Eleni Daniilidou in the third round and 2007's Wimbledon's finalist Marion Bartoli (who retired while trailing 2–6, 0–3) in the quarters. Yan's run was ended in the semi-finals by World No.1 Justine Henin, who showed the door through a straight sets 3–6, 0–6 win over her.[2]


Yan started 2008 poorly, with a first round loss at the Australian Open to eventual quarterfinalist Venus Williams 6–2, 7–5. However, at the Bangalore Open she upset Maria Kirilenko saving 3 match points. Afterwards she managed to upset Jelena Janković in a quarterfinal, winning 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, although Janković did struggle with a shoulder injury. She eventually lost to runner-up Patty Schnyder 6–3, 6–4. She made her top 50 debut afterwards at No. 43.

At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Yan and her partner Zheng Jie won the women's doubles bronze medal, defeating the Ukrainian duo of Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko in the Bronze medal match.


In January, Yan played qualifying singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles at the Australian Open. In qualifying singles, she was seeded eighth but lost to unseeded Alexandra Panova of Russia, 7–6 (7–2), 2–6, 9–7 in the qualifying second round. In women's doubles, she partnered with countrywoman Zheng Jie and was seeded sixth and lost in the third round. In mixed doubles, she partnered with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and was seeded second and lost in the second round. Because of playing doubles extensively her singles ranking has dropped to where it is hard for her to get into events. She has started playing doubles with Chia-Jung Chuang, now because she wants to get out of Zheng's shadow. The choice was more so, though, because she wants to improve her singles ranking.

WTA career finals

Singles: 1 (1–0)

Legend: Before 2009 Legend: Starting in 2009
Grand Slam (0/0)
WTA Championships (0/0)
Tier I (0/0) Premier Mandatory (0/0)
Tier II (0/0) Premier 5 (0/0)
Tier III (1/0) Premier (0/0)
Tier IV & V (0/0) International (0/0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1. September 26, 2005 Guangzhou, China Hard Nuria Llagostera Vives 6–4, 4–0 ret.

Doubles: 28 (17–11)

Legend: Before 2009 Legend: Starting in 2009
Grand Slam (2/0)
WTA Championships (0/0)
Tier I (2/0) Premier Mandatory (0/0)
Tier II (2/2) Premier 5 (0/0)
Tier III (6/5) Premier (1/2)
Tier IV & V (4/2) International (1/0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partnering Opponents in the final Score
Runner-up 1. June 14, 2003 Vienna, Austria Clay Zheng Jie Li Ting
Sun Tiantian
3–6, 4–6
Winner 1. January 14, 2005 Hobart, Australia Hard Zheng Jie Anabel Medina Garrigues
Dinara Safina
6–4, 7–5
Winner 2. February 12, 2005 Hyderabad, India Hard Zheng Jie Li Ting
Sun Tiantian
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 2. September 13, 2005 Bali, Indonesia Hard Zheng Jie Anna-Lena Grönefeld
Meghann Shaughnessy
3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. September 25, 2005 Beijing, China Hard Zheng Jie María Vento-Kabchi
Nuria Llagostera Vives
2–6, 4–6
Winner 3. January 28, 2006 Melbourne, Australia Hard Zheng Jie Lisa Raymond
Samantha Stosur
2–6, 7–6(7), 6–3
Runner-up 4. February 12, 2006 Pattaya City, Thailand Hard Zheng Jie Li Ting
Sun Tiantian
6–3, 1–6, 6–7(5)
Winner 4. May 14, 2006 Berlin, Germany Clay Zheng Jie Elena Dementieva
Flavia Pennetta
6–2, 6–3
Winner 5. May 21, 2006 Rabat, Morocco Clay Zheng Jie Ashley Harkleroad
Bethanie Mattek
6–1, 6–3
Winner 6. June 24, 2006 s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass Zheng Jie Ana Ivanovic
Maria Kirilenko
3–6, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 7. July 8, 2006 Wimbledon, Great Britain Grass Zheng Jie Virginia Ruano Pascual
Paola Suárez
6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Runner-up 5. July 26, 2006 Stockholm, Sweden Hard Zheng Jie Eva Birnerová
Jarmila Gajdošová
6–0, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 8. August 26, 2006 New Haven, United States Hard Zheng Jie Lisa Raymond
Samantha Stosur
6–4, 6–2
Winner 9. April 15, 2007 Charleston, United States Clay Zheng Jie Peng Shuai
Sun Tiantian
7–5, 6–0
Winner 10. May 26, 2007 Strasbourg, France Clay Zheng Jie Alicia Molik
Sun Tiantian
6–3, 6–4
Winner 11. September 30, 2007 Guangzhou, China Hard Peng Shuai Vania King
Sun Tiantian
6–3, 6–4
Winner 12. October 7, 2007 Tokyo, Japan Hard Sun Tiantian Chuang Chia-jung
Vania King
1–6, 6–2, [10–6]
Winner 13. October 14, 2007 Bangkok, Thailand Hard Sun Tiantian Ayumi Morita
Junri Namigata
Runner-up 6. January 5, 2008 Gold Coast, Australia Hard Zheng Jie Dinara Safina
Ágnes Szávay
1–6, 2–6
Winner 14. January 11, 2008 Sydney, Australia Hard Zheng Jie Tatiana Perebiynis
Tatiana Poutchek
6–4, 7–6(5)
Runner-up 7. March 1, 2008 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Hard Zheng Jie Cara Black
Liezel Huber
5–7, 2–6
Runner-up 8. March 22, 2008 Indian Wells, United States Hard Zheng Jie Dinara Safina
Elena Vesnina
1–6, 6–1, [8–10]
Winner 15. May 24, 2008 Strasbourg, France Clay Tatiana Perebiynis Chan Yung-jan
Chuang Chia-jung
6–4, 6–7(3), [10–6]
Runner-up 9. September 21, 2008 Guangzhou, China Hard Sun Tiantian Mariya Koryttseva
Tatiana Poutchek
6–3, 2–6, [8–10]
Runner-up 10. May 23, 2009 Warsaw, Poland Clay Zheng Jie Raquel Kops-Jones
Bethanie Mattek-Sands
1–6, 1–6
Winner 16. August 9, 2009 Los Angeles, United States Hard Chuang Chia-jung Maria Kirilenko
Agnieszka Radwańska
6–0, 4–6, [10–7]
Winner 17. April 11, 2010 Ponte Vedra, United States Clay Bethanie Mattek-Sands Chuang Chia-jung
Peng Shuai
4–6, 6–4, [10–8]
Runner-up 11. May 17, 2010 Warsaw, Poland Clay Cara Black Virginia Ruano Pascual
Meghann Shaughnessy
3–6, 4–6

Performance timelines

Singles performance timeline

Performance key
W winner #R lost in the early rounds Z# Davis Cup Zonal Group (number) B semifinalist, won bronze medal
F runner-up RR lost at round robin stage PO Davis Cup play-off NH not held
SF semifinalist Q# lost in qualification round G won Olympic gold medal NMS Not a Masters Series event
QF quarterfinalist A absent S runner-up, won silver medal NPM Not a Premier Mandatory or 5 event
Update either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the event has ended.
Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Career win ratio Career win-loss
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A LQ A 2R LQ 1R 0 / 4 1–4
French Open A A A 1R A 1R 0 / 1 0–1
Wimbledon A LQ A 1R 1R 1R 0 / 3 3–3
US Open LQ A LQ 1R 1R 1R 0 / 4 5–4
Grand Slam win ratio 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 12 N/A
Grand Slam win-loss 0–1 2–2 1–1 1–4 7–3 0–1 N/A 11–12
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics NH A NH NH NH 0 / 0 0–0
Current WTA Tier I tournaments
Doha1 Not Tier I 2R 0 / 1 1–1
Indian Wells A A A 1R A 2R 0 / 2 1–2
Miami A 1R A 1R A A 0 / 2 0–2
Charleston A LQ A A A A 0 / 1 0–1
Berlin A 1R A LQ 2R 2R 0 / 4 6–4
Rome A A A A 2R 1R 0 / 2 3–2
Toronto/Montréal A A A A SF A 0 / 1 6–1
Tokyo A LQ A A LQ A 0 / 2 4–2
Moscow A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Previous WTA Tier I tournaments
San Diego1 NTI A A A A NH 0 / 0 0–0
Zürich1 A A A LQ A NTI 0 / 1 0–1
  • 1 As of 2008, Doha is a Tier I tournament, replacing San Diego and Zurich.

Women's Doubles performance timeline

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 W-L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open QF 1R W SF SF 3R QF 2R 1R 23–8
French Open 1R 3R SF 1R 3R QF 3R 13–7
Wimbledon 3R W QF 3R 3R 2R 16–5
US Open 1R 2R QF QF 2R QF QF 2R 15–8
Win–Loss 0–1 6–4 5–3 19–2 8–4 11–4 10–4 7–4 1–1 0–0 0–1 67–28

See also


  1. ^ a b "Tennis: Yan Zi Wins First WTA Title in Guangzhou".  
  2. ^ a b "Henin puts paid to Yan Zi's dream run".  

External links

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