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Story Behind China Duo's Wimbledon Success
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Zheng Jie and Yan Zi, both from Chengdu in Sichuan Province, won their second Grand Slam title of 2006 and China's first Wimbledon doubles championship on July 9.

When they displayed their trophies to the audiences, few would know that Zheng and Yan had had to overcome numerous hardships and obstacles to achieve these resounding successes.

Zheng's parents firstly watched their daughter's matches at the French Open in June, and her mother even bringing her a whole package of instant noodles. After the Wimbledon semi-finals, Zheng called her mother while eating the instant noodles. She told her mother between mouthfuls, "I'm so hungry, I'd have starved if you hadn't give me these instant noodles."

Zheng said she often ate bread or instant noodles when she attended international tournaments abroad. She even sent SMS messages to remind her parents to bring her instant noodles.

In recent years, Zheng and Yan had been busy with professional tennis circuits, and tennis courts, hotels and airports became their most frequently visited places. Yan said, sometimes they had to travel 20 hours in the air, shuttling between Asia, Africa and Europe.

Yan and Zheng had to take care of their own daily-use articles and their trophies when on board. They even left their own luggage on the courts so that they could rush to the airport immediately for the next match. Zheng said, they had little time to visit the cities where the matches were held.

Zheng and Yan had participated in all kinds of tennis circuits around the world by themselves at less than 20.

Zheng said," A professional tennis player should not depend on others." The match time schedule often changed, and they had to be on time, sometimes they could only catch a few winks of sleep, or the umpire would announce they had waived the right to play.

Zheng and Yan had cooperated with each other closely to gain more opportunities for their matches. Zheng often gave brilliant ideas, while Yan could communicate with others in English. A simple joke happened in the day would be enjoyed by them for quite a long period.

( July 13, 2006)

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