Cheng Qinwen was handling more than 1 seed Iga Swatik on Monday in the fourth round of the French Open.
The Chinese teen phenomenon was aiming for the biggest win of her young career, but said she had “just girl things” that had an impact on her performance.
“The first day is always very difficult, and then I have to do sports and I always feel a lot of pain on the first day,” Zeng told reporters after the 6-7, 6-0, 6-2 loss.
“I couldn’t go against my nature. I wish I was a man so I wouldn’t have this. It’s hard or rough.”
19-year-old Cheng’s achievement was still Sweatek’s first 82 minutes. The Polish star, 21, is a tight favorite to win the tournament and hasn’t dropped a set since April 23.
Zheng took a medical timeout early in the second set with a leg injury that required a tight wrap.
“The leg made it hard,” Cheng said. “But that was easy compared to the stomach. I can’t play tennis because the stomach was so sore. I really do my best on the court, it’s hard.”
Zing’s path to the fourth round included surprising former French Open champion Simona Halep and winning her first nine matches against Alize Cornet before the French veteran retired.
Swiatek, the 2020 French Open winner, faces American Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
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