Yan Zi (tennis)

Yan Zi (Chinese: 晏紫; born 12 November 1984) is a retired mainland Chinese-Hong Kong tennis player.

Yan Zi
Yan zi wim08 1.JPG
Country (sports) China (2000–2014)
 Hong Kong (2014–2016)
ResidenceHong Kong, China
Born (1984-11-12) 12 November 1984 (age 36)
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned proFebruary 2003
(two-handed both sides)
Prize moneyUS$ 1,977,871
Career record199–160 (55.4%)
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 40 (5 May 2008)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2006)
French Open1R (2006, 2008)
Wimbledon1R (2006, 2007, 2008)
US Open1R (2006, 2007, 2008)
Career record375–179 (67.7%)
Career titles17
Highest rankingNo. 4 (10 July 2006)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (2006)
French OpenSF (2006)
WimbledonW (2006)
US OpenQF (2005, 2006, 2008)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic GamesBronze medal.svg Bronze medal (2008)
Yan Zi

Career summaryEdit

In 2005, at the age of 20, Yan Zi won her only WTA Tour singles title at the Guangzhou International Open.[1]

In singles, she first reached the world top 100 in January 2006, achieving a then career-high of world No. 72 that March before failing to defend her breakthrough run of results the previous year and dropping back outside the top 100 that October. Her ranking had slumped to 262 by February 2007 after a year of disappointing results, but her results then picked up again over the rest of 2007; and she regained the top 100 for the first time in ten months after a spectacular run at the Tier I Canada Masters in August, reaching the semifinals before finally being defeated by world No. 1, Justine Henin, in straight sets.[2]

In doubles, her highest ranking is No. 4; she won two Grand Slam titles, partnering with Zheng Jie. While she has been good at doubles, her singles performance has been inconsistent as her form fluctuated. She has winning records against top-10 stars Jelena Janković 2–0, Ana Ivanovic 1–0, and Marion Bartoli 1–0.

In 2014, Yan received Hong Kong citizenship. In April 2016, she became captain of the Hong Kong Fed Cup team. She announced her retirement that year.

Singles career in detailEdit


Until January 2002, Yan met with mixed results as a singles player in the lower reaches of the ITF tournament hierarchy. But that month, she reached the final of a $10k event at Hull, losing to Liu Nannan. In May, she avenged this defeat with a win over Liu in the first round of a $50k at Fukuoka; and again in August she defeated Liu, this time in the quarterfinal of a $25k tournament at Beijing, only to lose to Rika Fujiwara in the semifinal. In September, she qualified for the WTA Tour contest at Shanghai, only to lose in the first round. However, she had reached numerous ITF Circuit quarterfinals during the year, and finished it ranked for the first time inside the world top 300, at No. 299.

In February 2003, she narrowly failed to qualify at Hyderabad, losing to Maria Kirilenko in a tight three-set match in the final round of qualifying. She put in her career-best performance to date at Fukuoka, reaching the semifinal with wins over Rika Fujiwara and Sun Tiantian, before losing to Saori Obata despite winning more games, the scoreline standing at 6–2, 6–7, 5–7. In July, she qualified for a WTA event at Palermo by defeating Zheng Jie and Ivana Abramović, then fell in the main-draw first round to Italian rising star Francesca Schiavone in another three-setter in which she won more games than her victorious opponent, the scoreline this time being 6–0, 4–6, 3–6. These defeats suggest that she quickly runs out of steam after giving it all in the first set, thereby allowing her opponent to regroup and eventually pocket the contest. The same week, she defeated Sun Tiantian to qualify for a $50k evment at Modena, and in the main draw ousted Yulia Beygelzimer and Adriana Serra Zanetti en route to a quarterfinal loss. In September, she qualified for another WTA event, the Japan Open, and defeated Ashley Harkleroad in round two before losing, on this occasion, to Zheng Jie in the quarterfinals. In December, she reached the semifinal of a $50k tournament for the second time in the year, beating Tzipora Obziler in the quarterfinal at Changsha before losing to another of her prominent countrywomen, Peng Shuai. The following week, she narrowly lost in the quarterfinal of the $50k contest at Shenzhen to future star Sesil Karatantcheva, in three sets. The year had brought great improvement to Yan's singles results, and her year-end ranking correspondingly improved to 179.


Unfortunately, 2004 set back her progress slightly. The year began poorly for her with a string of early losses, although she was ambitiously targeting only WTA events now, raising the bar on the required standard for successful competition. She failed to win a first-round main draw match the entire year, meeting only with moderate success in qualifying rounds; and ultimately the only relief she could find towards salvaging her world ranking was a retreat to ITF Circuit late in the year. She reached the semifinal of a $25k tournament at Beijing in September (losing again to Zheng Jie), and the same stage at Shenzhen (where she shocked by Li Na in the quarterfinals, then lost yet again to Zheng). This late flourish of results was enough to limp her home to a year-end ranking of 248.


In January 2005, Yan battled her way past three high-quality opponents, Julia Schruff, Shikha Uberoi and Melinda Czink, to qualify for Tennis Gold Coast, an important WTA event, where she was removed by Tatiana Golovin of France. Then in May, she managed to beat Uberoi again after qualifying for Rabat with a win over Sun Tiantian, only to lose to Arantxa Parra Santonja in the second round. Then in June, she surpassed her previous career-best result, reaching the final of a $50k tournament at Beijing with wins over Sun and Zheng, but lost in the final to less-feted countrywoman Li Ting. The following month, as a direct entrant to the WTA event at Modena, she defeated the much higher-ranked Marta Domachowska of Poland before losing a close three-setter to Sanda Mamić. In September, she avenged her defeat by Li Ting to qualify for Bali, only to succumb to her former doubles partner Li Na in round two of the main draw.

In September 2005, she began competing in the WTA event at Guangzhou, this year up-rated to Tier III status, and shocked herself by proceeding to win the entire tournament, having previously failed to win even one ITF singles title, and having only once reached the quarter-final stage at any WTA Tour event. To achieve this astonishing outcome, she had to produce some of her best tennis to conquer defending champion Li Na in the quarterfinal, which she finally won 6–7, 7–5, 7–6, after an intense battle. The other matches against worthy opposition looked easy by comparison, as she crushed Marta Domachowska for the loss of just three games in round two, fought past impressive emerging teen star Victoria Azarenka in the semifinal, and was up 6–4, 4–0 against Nuria Llagostera Vives in the final when the Spaniard conceded victory.[1]

A semifinal result in November's $50k Shenzhen tournament capped off what had proved to be a superlative year for Yan, leaving her world-ranked 104, within the direct-entry threshold of Grand Slam events and minor WTA tournaments, and within the qualifying-entry threshold of even the more exclusive WTA fixtures.


Yan Zi during the first round of the 2006 Australian Open

She began the season by narrowly failing to qualify for Tennis Gold Coast, despite wins over Vania King and Shikha Uberoi, as Angela Haynes defeated her in three sets. But she succeeded in qualifying for Sydney with stunning straight-sets victories over Eva Birnerová, Denisa Chládková and Anastasia Yakimova, and beat the high-ranked Anna Chakvetadze in two sets in the main-draw first round before losing a three-set match to Francesca Schiavone, who had to struggle through a nail-bitingly close second-set tiebreak to avoid a straight sets loss to Yan, only to win the final set by a more comfortable margin.

As if these scores were not enough to prove her capability to the wider world, at the Australian Open she knocked out former No. 15 and the previous year's semifinalist, Nathalie Dechy of France, in the first round, she then defeated unseeded Aleksandra Wozniak, before suffering to former No. 19, Sybille Bammer. February brought more disappointing results in singles for Yan, as she lost a three-setter to Emma Laine of Finland at Pattaya, and failed to qualify for Doha and Dubai. But still, her January results and some points picked up in qualifying rounds in February had improved her world ranking to No. 66, just one place behind Li Na.


At the second round of the Canada Masters in Toronto, she upset world No. 4, Ana Ivanovic, with a score of 6–3, 6–1 in just over an hour, even as Ivanovic had a rare off day. She then beat Eleni Daniilidou in the third round and 2007's Wimbledon's finalist Marion Bartoli (who retired while trailing 2–6, 0–3) in the quarterfinals. Yan's run was ended in the semifinals by world No. 1, Justine Henin, who showed the door through a straight-sets win over her.[2]


Yan started 2008 poorly, with a first-round loss at the Australian Open to eventual quarterfinalist Venus Williams. However, at the Bangalore Open she upset Maria Kirilenko saving three match points. Afterwards she managed to upset Jelena Janković in a quarterfinal, winning 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, however Janković did struggle with a shoulder injury. She eventually lost to runner-up Patty Schnyder in straight sets and made her top-50 debut afterwards at No. 43.

At the Summer Olympics, Yan and her partner Zheng Jie won the women's doubles bronze medal, defeating the Ukrainian duo of Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko in the bronze medal match.


In January, Yan played qualifying singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles at the Australian Open. In qualifying singles, she was seeded eighth but lost to unseeded Alexandra Panova in the qualifying second round. In women's doubles, she partnered with Zheng Jie and was seeded sixth and lost in the third round. In mixed doubles, she partnered with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and was seeded second and lost in the second round. Because of playing doubles extensively her singles ranking has dropped to where it is hard for her to get into events. She has started playing doubles with Chuang Chia-jung, now because she wants to get out of Zheng's shadow. The choice was more so, though, because she wants to improve her singles ranking.


Doubles: 1 bronze medal match (1–0)Edit

Result Year Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Bronze 2008 Beijing Olympics Hard   Zheng Jie   Alona Bondarenko
  Kateryna Bondarenko
6–2, 6–2

WTA career finalsEdit

Singles: 1 titleEdit

Winner - Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
Tier I (0–0)
Tier II (0–0)
Tier III (1–0)
Tier IV & V (0–0)
Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 26 September 2005 Guangzhou Open, China Hard   Nuria Llagostera Vives 6–4, 4–0 ret.

Doubles: 17 titles, 11 runner-upsEdit

Legend before 2009 Starting in 2009
Grand Slam tournaments (2–0)
Tier I (2–1) Premier Mandatory (0–0)
Tier II (2–2) Premier 5 (0–0)
Tier III (6–4) Premier (1–2)
Tier IV & V (3–2) International (1–0)
Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. Jun 2003 Vienna Open, Austria Clay   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
3–6, 4–6
Winner 1. Jan 2005 Hobart International, Australia Hard   Zheng Jie   Anabel Medina Garrigues
  Dinara Safina
6–4, 7–5
Winner 2. Feb 2005 Hyderabad Open, India Hard   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 2. Sep 2005 Bali International, Indonesia Hard   Zheng Jie   Anna-Lena Grönefeld
  Meghann Shaughnessy
3–6, 3–6
Runner-up 3. Sep 2005 Beijing Open, China Hard   Zheng Jie   María Vento-Kabchi
  Nuria Llagostera Vives
2–6, 4–6
Winner 3. Jan 2006 Australian Open Hard   Zheng Jie   Lisa Raymond
  Samantha Stosur
2–6, 7–6(9–7), 6–3
Loss 4. Feb 2006 Pattaya Open, Thailand Hard   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
6–3, 1–6, 6–7(5–7)
Win 4. May 2006 Berlin Open, Germany Clay   Zheng Jie   Elena Dementieva
  Flavia Pennetta
6–2, 6–3
Win 5. May 2006 Rabat Grand Prix, Morocco Clay   Zheng Jie   Ashley Harkleroad
  Bethanie Mattek
6–1, 6–3
Winner 6. Jun 2006 Ordina Open s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass   Zheng Jie   Ana Ivanovic
  Maria Kirilenko
3–6, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 7. Jul 2006 Wimbledon Championships Grass   Zheng Jie   Virginia Ruano Pascual
  Paola Suárez
6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Runner-up 5. Jul 2006 Nordic Light Open, Sweden Hard   Zheng Jie   Eva Birnerová
  Jarmila Gajdošová
6–0, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 8. Aug 2006 New Haven Cup, United States Hard   Zheng Jie   Lisa Raymond
  Samantha Stosur
6–4, 6–2
Winner 9. Apr 2007 Charleston Cup, United States Clay   Zheng Jie   Peng Shuai
  Sun Tiantian
7–5, 6–0
Winner 10. May 2007 Internationaux de Strasbourg, France Clay   Zheng Jie   Alicia Molik
  Sun Tiantian
6–3, 6–4
Winner 11. Sep 2007 Guangzhou International Open, China Hard   Peng Shuai   Vania King
  Sun Tiantian
6–3, 6–4
Winner 12. Oct 2007 Tokyo Championships, Japan Hard   Sun Tiantian   Chuang Chia-jung
  Vania King
1–6, 6–2, [10–6]
Winner 13. Oct 2007 Bangkok Open, Thailand Hard   Sun Tiantian   Ayumi Morita
  Junri Namigata
Runner-up 6. Jan 2008 Gold Coast Hardcourts, Australia Hard   Zheng Jie   Dinara Safina
  Ágnes Szávay
1–6, 2–6
Winner 14. Jan 2008 Sydney International, Australia Hard   Zheng Jie   Tatiana Perebiynis
  Tatiana Poutchek
6–4, 7–6(7–5)
Runner-up 7. Mar 2008 Dubai Championships, United Arab Emirates Hard   Zheng Jie   Cara Black
  Liezel Huber
5–7, 2–6
Runner-up 8. Mar 2008 Indian Wells Masters, United States Hard   Zheng Jie   Dinara Safina
  Elena Vesnina
1–6, 6–1, [8–10]
Winner 15. May 2008 Internationaux de Strasbourg, France Clay   Tatiana Perebiynis   Chan Yung-jan
  Chuang Chia-jung
6–4, 6–7(3–7), [10–6]
Runner-up 9. Sep 2008 Guangzhou International Open, China Hard   Sun Tiantian   Mariya Koryttseva
  Tatiana Poutchek
6–3, 2–6, [8–10]
Runner-up 10. May 2009 Warsaw Open, Poland Clay   Zheng Jie   Raquel Kops-Jones
  Bethanie Mattek-Sands
1–6, 1–6
Winner 16. Aug 2009 Los Angeles Championships, United States Hard   Chuang Chia-jung   Maria Kirilenko
  Agnieszka Radwańska
6–0, 4–6, [10–7]
Winner 17. Apr 2010 Ponte Vedra Championships, United States Clay   Bethanie Mattek-Sands   Chuang Chia-jung
  Peng Shuai
4–6, 6–4, [10–8]
Runner-up 11. May 2010 Warsaw Open, Poland Clay   Cara Black   Virginia Ruano Pascual
  Meghann Shaughnessy
3–6, 4–6

ITF Circuit finalsEdit

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments

Singles: 2 (2 runner-ups)Edit

Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 27 January 2002 ITF Hull, United Kingdom Hard (i)   Liu Nannan 1–6, 2–6
Loss 0–2 12 June 2005 ITF Beijing, China Hard   Li Ting 1–6, 3–6

Doubles: 23 (16 titles, 7 runner-ups)Edit

Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 10 September 2000 ITF Zhejiang, China Hard   Zheng Jie   Chen Yan
  Sun Tiantian
3–6, 5–7
Win 1–1 4 June 2001 ITF Hohhot, China Hard   Zheng Jie   Chen Yan
  Sun Tiantian
6–4, 2–6, 6–3
Win 2–1 3 February 2002 ITF Tipton, United Kingdom Hard (i)   Zheng Jie   Tessy van de Ven
  Suzanne van Hartingsveldt
6–1, 6–3
Winner 4. 14 April 2002 ITF Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Hard   Zheng Jie   Ayami Takase
  Remi Tezuka
6–1, 1–6, 6–2
Winner 5. 15 April 2002 ITF Cagliari, Italy Clay   Zheng Jie   Li Na
  Li Ting
6–4, 6–0
Winner 6. 23 April 2002 ITF Taranto, Italy Clay   Zheng Jie   Eva Fislová
  Stanislava Hrozenská
6–2, 6–2
Winner 7. 29 April 2002 ITF Maglie, Italy Carpet (i)   Zheng Jie   Edina Gallovits-Hall
  Magda Mihalache
6–4, 6–1
Winner 8. 19 May 2002 ITF Shanghai, China Hard   Zheng Jie   He Chunyan
  Liu Weijuan
6–2, 6–2
Winner 9. 26 May 2002 ITF Tianjin, China Hard (i)   Zheng Jie   Chan Chin-wei
  Chuang Chia-jung
6–0, 6–4
Runner-up 10. 11 August 2002 ITF Beijing, China Hard   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
5–7, 3–6
DNP 11 March 2003 ITF Fountain Hills, United States Hard   Zheng Jie   Alicia Molik
  Trudi Musgrave
Winner 11. 18 March 2003 ITF Redding, United States Hard   Zheng Jie   Jennifer Hopkins
  Abigail Spears
7–6(3), 7–6(5)
Winner 12. 16 June 2003 ITF Gorizia, Italy Clay   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
7–6(5), 1–6, 6–4
Winner 13. 30 June 2003 ITF Orbetello, Italy Clay   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
6–2, 7–5
Winner 14. 19 October 2003 ITF Sedona, United States Clay   Zheng Jie   Alina Jidkova
  Rossana de los Ríos
7–6(2), 7–6(3)
Winner 15. 20 October 2003 ITF Paducah, United States Hard   Zheng Jie   Kim Grant
  Samantha Reeves
6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 16. 30 November 2003 ITF Changsha, China Hard   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
4–6, 2–6
Runner-up 17. 7 December 2003 ITF Shenzhen, China Hard   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
3–6, 6–3, 4–6
Winner 18. 26 October 2004 ITF Shenzhen Hard   Zheng Jie   Chuang Chia-jung
  Hsieh Su-wei
6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 19. 7 November 2004 ITF Shenzhen Hard   Zheng Jie   Rika Fujiwara
  Elena Tatarkova
4–6, 6–1, 1–6
Winner 20. 6 June 2005 ITF Beijing, China Hard   Zheng Jie   Li Ting
  Sun Tiantian
6–1, 7–5
Runner-up 21. 7 August 2005 ITF Washington, United States Clay   Jennifer Hopkins   Olena Antypina
  Tatiana Poutchek
4–6, 4–6
Winner 22. 13 November 2005 ITF Shenzhen Hard   Hsieh Su-wei   Chan Chin-wei
  Hsu Wen-hsin
6–0, 6–2
Runner-up 23. 10 January 2010 ITF Quanzhou, China Hard   Yuliya Beygelzimer   Liu Wanting
  Zhou Yimiao
1–6, 2–6

Grand Slam performance timelinesEdit

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)


Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A LQ A 2R LQ 1R 0 / 2 1–2
French Open A A A 1R A 1R 0 / 2 0–2
Wimbledon A LQ A 1R 1R 1R 0 / 3 0–3
US Open LQ A LQ 1R 1R 1R 0 / 3 0–3
GS Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–4 0–2 0–4 N/A 1–10
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics NH A NH NH NH 0 / 0 0–0
Tier I tournaments
Doha1 Not Tier I 2R 0 / 1 1–1
Indian Wells A A A 1R A 2R 0 / 2 1–2
Miami A 1R A 1R A A 0 / 2 0–2
Charleston A LQ A A A A 0 / 1 0–1
Berlin A 1R A LQ 2R 2R 0 / 4 6–4
Rome A A A A 2R 1R 0 / 2 3–2
Toronto/Montréal A A A A SF A 0 / 1 6–1
Tokyo A LQ A A LQ A 0 / 2 4–2
Moscow A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Previous Tier I tournaments
San Diego1 NTI A A A A NH 0 / 0 0–0
Zürich1 A A A LQ A NTI 0 / 1 0–1


Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 W–L
Australian Open A QF 1R W SF SF 3R QF 2R A 1R 23–8
French Open A 1R 3R SF 1R 3R QF 3R A A A 13–7
Wimbledon A 3R A W QF 3R 3R 2R A A 1R 16–6
US Open 1R 2R QF QF 2R QF QF 2R A A A 15–8
Win–Loss 0–1 6–4 5–3 19–2 8–4 11–4 10–4 7–4 1–1 0–0 0–2 67–29


  1. ^ a b "Tennis: Yan Zi Wins First WTA Title in Guangzhou". China Radio International. 2005-10-02. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  2. ^ a b "Henin puts paid to Yan Zi's dream run". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2010-01-24.

External linksEdit