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China’s Zheng Qinwen moves to the second round after defeating Sloane Stephens. Photo: AFP

Wimbledon: Zheng Qinwen defeats Sloane Stephens on Wimbledon debut

  • Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen held off former US Open champion to get her Wimbledon debut off to a solid start
  • Compatriot Zhang Shuai beat Misaki Doi of Japan 6-4, 6-0 while Wang Qiang overcame Belinda Bencic 6-4, 5-7, 6-2

Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen is through to the second round of Wimbledon after a solid, straight sets win over former US Open Champion Sloane Stephens.

In the fading light of Court 15 on Tuesday evening, Zheng took a convincing 7-6 (1), 7-5 win over the American, pushing 31 unforced errors to claim her first Wimbledon win.

Just weeks after winning the BBVA Open Internacional de Valencia singles tournament, Zheng won 44 of 77 baseline points against the No 48-ranked Stephens in a match that was largely a one-sided affair.

Zhang Shuai hits a return during the women’s singles first round match against Doi Misaki of Japan. Photo: Xinhua

Stephens briefly led 5-3 in the second set and it appeared that the American could close the set, but Zheng flipped the script and stormed through the final four games to notch the win.

The 19-year-old maintains her breakthrough form from Roland Garros where she reached her current career-high ranking of world No 52.

It was a strong start overall for China’s contingent of players at this year’s Wimbledon. World No 41 Zhang Shuai beat Misaki Doi of Japan 6-4, 6-0 and Wang Qiang overcame Belinda Bencic 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, but Zhu Lin lost to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-4, 6-2.

Zheng will now face the winner of the match between Spaniard Garbine Muguruza and No 9 seed Belgian Greet Minnen. Zhang will meet Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in the second round, while Wang will has been drawn against British player Heather Watson.

Meanwhile 24-year-old French debutant Harmony Tan prevailed against knocked out seven-time champion Serena Williams in their first round encounter over three sets to secure her first career win on grass and advance to the second round at the expense of the former world number one.

Playing her first singles match for a year after injury, Williams looked hungry as ever and roared as loud as ever as she shook off the rust. The two women battled it out for more than three hours, with Tan, a woman 16 years her minor, taking the dramatic win 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7).