Yan Zi (tennis)
Hong Kong (2014–present)
November 12, 1984|
|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 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 titles||17 WTA, 16 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 4 (10 July 2006)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (2006)|
|French Open||SF (2006)|
|US Open||QF (2005, 2006, 2008)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||Bronze medal (2008)|
- 1 Career summary
- 2 Singles career in detail
- 3 Olympics
- 4 WTA career finals
- 5 Performance timelines
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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 defeated by world No. 1 Justine Henin 6–3, 6–0.
In doubles, Yan Zi's highest ranking is No. 4; 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.
In 2014 Yan received Hong Kong citizenship. In April 2016, she became captain of the Hong Kong Fed Cup team. She announced her retirement that year.
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 quarterfinals during the year, and finished it ranked for the first time inside the world top 300, at No. 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 semifinal 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 semifinal 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 quarterfinals, 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 Sun Tiantian, 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 her former doubles partner Li Na in round 2 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 quarterfinal, 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 semifinal, and was up 6–4, 4–0 against Nuria Llagostera Vives in the final when the Spaniard conceded victory.
A semifinal 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.
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 semifinalist, 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 No. 66, just one place behind Li Na.
At the second round of the Canada Masters in Toronto, 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 semifinals by world No. 1, Justine Henin, who showed the door through a straight sets 6–3, 6–0 win over her.
Yan started 2008 poorly, with a first round loss at the Australian Open to eventual quarterfinalist Venus Williams (2–6, 5–7). However, at the Bangalore Open she upset Maria Kirilenko saving three match points. Afterwards she managed to upset Jelena Janković in a quarterfinal, winning 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, however Janković did struggle with a shoulder injury. She eventually lost to runner-up Patty Schnyder 3–6, 4–6 and made her top 50 debut afterwards at No. 43.
At the 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, 6–7 (2–7), 6–2, 7–9 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.
Doubles: 1 Bronze Medal Match (1–0)
|Bronze||2008||Beijing Olympics||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Alona Bondarenko
WTA career finals
Singles: 1 (1–0)
|Legend: Before 2009||Legend: Starting in 2009|
|Grand Slam tournaments (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)|
|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 tournaments (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)|
|Runner-up||1.||June 14, 2003||Vienna, Austria||Clay||Zheng Jie|| Li Ting
|Winner||1.||January 14, 2005||Hobart, Australia||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Anabel Medina Garrigues
|Winner||2.||February 12, 2005||Hyderabad, India||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Li Ting
|Runner-up||2.||September 13, 2005||Bali, Indonesia||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Anna-Lena Grönefeld
|Runner-up||3.||September 25, 2005||Beijing, China||Hard||Zheng Jie|| María Vento-Kabchi
Nuria Llagostera Vives
|Winner||3.||January 28, 2006||Melbourne, Australia||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Lisa Raymond
|2–6, 7–6(7), 6–3|
|Runner-up||4.||February 12, 2006||Pattaya, Thailand||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Li Ting
|6–3, 1–6, 6–7(5)|
|Winner||4.||May 14, 2006||Berlin, Germany||Clay||Zheng Jie|| Elena Dementieva
|Winner||5.||May 21, 2006||Rabat, Morocco||Clay||Zheng Jie|| Ashley Harkleroad
|Winner||6.||June 24, 2006||s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands||Grass||Zheng Jie|| Ana Ivanovic
|3–6, 6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||7.||July 8, 2006||Wimbledon||Grass||Zheng Jie|| Virginia Ruano Pascual
|6–3, 3–6, 6–2|
|Runner-up||5.||July 26, 2006||Stockholm, Sweden||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Eva Birnerová
|6–0, 4–6, 2–6|
|Winner||8.||August 26, 2006||New Haven, United States||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Lisa Raymond
|Winner||9.||April 15, 2007||Charleston, United States||Clay||Zheng Jie|| Peng Shuai
|Winner||10.||May 26, 2007||Strasbourg, France||Clay||Zheng Jie|| Alicia Molik
|Winner||11.||September 30, 2007||Guangzhou, China||Hard||Peng Shuai|| Vania King
|Winner||12.||October 7, 2007||Tokyo, Japan||Hard||Sun Tiantian|| Chuang Chia-jung
|1–6, 6–2, [10–6]|
|Winner||13.||October 14, 2007||Bangkok, Thailand||Hard||Sun Tiantian|| Ayumi Morita
|Runner-up||6.||January 5, 2008||Gold Coast, Australia||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Dinara Safina
|Winner||14.||January 11, 2008||Sydney, Australia||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Tatiana Perebiynis
|Runner-up||7.||March 1, 2008||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Cara Black
|Runner-up||8.||March 22, 2008||Indian Wells, United States||Hard||Zheng Jie|| Dinara Safina
|1–6, 6–1, [8–10]|
|Winner||15.||May 24, 2008||Strasbourg, France||Clay||Tatiana Perebiynis|| Chan Yung-jan
|6–4, 6–7(3), [10–6]|
|Runner-up||9.||September 21, 2008||Guangzhou, China||Hard||Sun Tiantian|| Mariya Koryttseva
|6–3, 2–6, [8–10]|
|Runner-up||10.||May 23, 2009||Warsaw, Poland||Clay||Zheng Jie|| Raquel Kops-Jones
|Winner||16.||August 9, 2009||Los Angeles, United States||Hard||Chuang Chia-jung|| Maria Kirilenko
|6–0, 4–6, [10–7]|
|Winner||17.||April 11, 2010||Ponte Vedra, United States||Clay||Bethanie Mattek-Sands|| Chuang Chia-jung
|4–6, 6–4, [10–8]|
|Runner-up||11.||May 17, 2010||Warsaw, Poland||Clay||Cara Black|| Virginia Ruano Pascual
Singles performance timeline
|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|
|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|
Doubles performance timeline
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
- "Tennis: Yan Zi Wins First WTA Title in Guangzhou". China Radio International. 2005-10-02. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- "Henin puts paid to Yan Zi's dream run". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
- Yan Zi at the Women's Tennis Association
- Yan Zi at the International Tennis Federation
- Yan Zi at the Fed Cup
- (in Chinese) Yan Zi's blog
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yan Zi.|