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‘It’s just girls’ things’ – Zheng reveals reason for on-court pain

The Chinese teenager was honest about the physical problems she encountered in her fourth-round match against the world No 1

Qinwen Zheng Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2022 China’s Qinwen Zheng during her fourth round match against Poland’s Iga Swiatek (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Qinwen Zheng was in obvious discomfort on court against Iga Swiatek on Monday – but it wasn’t just the stress of facing the world No 1.

The Chinese teenager said afterwards that she had been suffering from menstruation-related stomach cramps, which affected her ability to play.

“I got really pained stomach and I try my best, but it’s just, in the second and third set, I couldn’t, I didn’t have power to scream one ‘Come on’, even, and it was really tough, yeah,” she told a press conference after her 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-2 loss.

“It’s just girls’ things, you know,” she added. “The first day is always so tough and then, you know, I have to do sport and I always have so much pain in the first day. And I couldn’t go against my nature. I wish I can be a man on court, but I cannot. In that moment…I really wish I can be man that I don’t have to suffer from this.”

Zheng is the latest in a growing group of female players – including Swiatek, Danielle Collins, Petra Kvitova, and Heather Watson – who have spoken about how their performance can be affected by their periods.

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