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July 1, 2008

Jie Zheng


J. ZHENG/N. Vaidisova
6-2, 5-7, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jie Zheng. We have an interpreter.

Q. In today's match there were a few turning points. I would have thought final set, third game, you were Love-30 down on your service and you began to serve what we call the dolly shots: high soft balls, and Nicole hits them out. Was that part of your strategy?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Actually, in the third game I was trying to make her more movement, because in the second game I was very aggressive, aggressive playing.
But actually it was not very satisfactory. That's what I did in the third game.

Q. When you were made a wild card, did you dream you could possibly get this far?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) No.
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) Every match I thinking is very easy. I just try my best to keep going just like this one. I never thinking I can in the semifinal.

Q. How many million people will be watching you at home in the semifinal?
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) I don't know. But after the match I have 30, 15, some like messages for me. I think maybe many people for watch this match in China.

Q. We all read the official stories about your life. The story is just minimal. Could you say something more about when you were a kid, which was your first racquet, if your grandfather was a tennis player, where did you play, those things, human things.
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) There is none of my family member who is tennis player. When I was in my childhood I was very lively and sporty, and my parents would like me to have more practice, to be healthy.
To choose to play tennis is purely an accident choice, because at that time there were not that many people who knew this tennis game in China.
But as soon as I start to play it I fall in love with it.
Q. Why do you think there are no Chinese men strong in tennis? There is a season, a matter of body or power, or other reasons?
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) Yeah, is tough question. We want to know also (laughter). But I think maybe the Chinese men, you need more the fitness, have more power, like this.

Q. You have some basketball players who are two meters tall.
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) Like Yao Ming.

Q. You don't have Chinese men who can play tennis?
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) Maybe next time. I hope to have more people coming for the Chinese sports. Now I feel the girl coming to play the Chinese. More the boys not too much. Maybe because the table tennis is so well in China.
Some people, the boys, some choose to the table tennis. I think so.

Q. How do you feel about playing Serena Williams in the semifinal?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Serena is two times winner of the Wimbledon game, and a very prominent player in the grass court.
For me, I'm the only first time to enter the semifinal. And in year 2004, in the first round, I lost to Serena when she was defending champion.
And, of course, I hope I can have better achievements when I'm playing with her. And, of course, I also wish to win. But for now I just want to simply keep my hope as simple as possible.

Q. You are a Wimbledon champion. You won the doubles two years ago. What effect did that have when you went home? How were you received?
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) After 2006?

Q. Yes.
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) It was very exciting, of course. But also, it was the same time when the football, the World Cup football, in the same year, therefore it was not received as sensational as the football match.
But anyway, the Wimbledon is very historical cup, and it has very far reach affection in China.

Q. Could you describe the place where you learned to play as a child, the court and everything.
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) I started to learn the tennis by playing both hands because I was not strong enough. At that time in China, because one coach will have more than 10, 10 to 20 kids learning from one coach. We were all young kids and we were only allowed to watch.
For me, one of the reasons I enjoyed learning the game of tennis is because I could know lots of other kids, friends, and I thought this is very fun, very enjoyable.

Q. Is the Chinese government doing anything to encourage more people to play tennis in China?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) China has quite many sports, which are leading in the world. Unfortunately tennis is not one of them, but other sports like ping-pong, diving, we are the world leaders.
But I think with more and more people gaining better achievements in the tennis game, I believe there will be more people will love this sport in the future.

Q. Is the government doing anything about this is my question?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) The government will sponsor the funds for us to travel abroad to participate in competition, as well as the incentive for us if we have good achievement.

Q. Since you said you gave your money for earthquake victims, I'd like to know how much you can keep of the prize money and how much instead the government takes out of your money. There is a percentage they keep and you can give just your part of the money, or also the part of the government?
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) It's a hard question.
THE MODERATOR: We're here to talk about the tennis as such.

Q. Is part of the tennis. Tennis is part of the life.
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) First of all, of course I will donate all my portion. Apart from that, I will do as much as I can to help the Sichuan region people because I'm from Sichuan province, as well.
After going back after the Wimbledon, when I go back, I will do more charity work and encourage more people come to support the stricken region and hope people from Sichuan will have their new home as soon as possible.

Q. She's planning on giving her entire winnings?
THE MODERATOR: We're here to do tennis questions. We've been through that.

Q. No, that an incredible, charitable donation on her part.
THE MODERATOR: We are running out of time for English questions.

Q. We are here to work. We are not to listen to just sets, games and points. It's relevant.
THE MODERATOR: Do you want to answer that question?
JIE ZHENG: (In English.) Yeah, it's a very hard question for me, because in China sometime it's a different pression. If you play so well, you have the more pression for you.
So I would like to give the all prize money but cannot, you know. I need give back to something like the tennis association, like this one.

Q. Will you be doing anything special for the semifinal?
JIE ZHENG: (Through translation.) Serena, with no doubt, is outstanding player, and so far I haven't found any weak link about her.
But as a first time to enter the semifinal, I would rather now enjoying the game than anything else.

End of FastScripts

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