China’s Zheng Qinwen said severe stomach cramps ruined her hopes of completing a shock French Open win against world number one Iga Swiatek on Monday and left her wishing “I can be a man”.
Zheng, just 19 and playing in her first Roland Garros, took the first set off the top seed before slipping to a 6-7 (5/7), 6-0, 6-2 defeat in their last-16 tie. The world number 74 had needed a medical timeout to strap her injured right leg early in the second set but she revealed that was the least of her concerns.
19-year-old Zheng Quinwen spoke about her menstrual cramps after losing to world number one Iga Swiatek at the French Open.
“It’s just girl things,” Zheng said in reference to her menstrual pain.
“The first day is always so tough and then I have to do sport and I always have so much pain in the first day.
“I couldn’t go against my nature. I wish I can be a man so that I don’t have to suffer from this. It’s tough.”
“The leg made it tough,” added Zheng. “But that compared to the stomach was easy. I cannot play my tennis because the stomach was too much painful.
“I really give my best on court, it’s just tough.”
Swiatek extended her winning streak to 32 matches to equal the third best winning streak this century set by Justine Henin 14 years ago.
“Zheng played amazing tennis,” said Swiatek after reaching the quarter-finals for a third successive year.
“I was surprised with some of her shots, her top spin was amazing. Huge congrats to her. I am happy to come back after a frustrating first set when I had the lead.