Ziyi Zianzhi (born Sun Ziyi on January 5, 1991) is a professional tennis player from China and former world no. 1 in singles. Among her achievements, she is a five-time grand slam champion, three-time Year-end Championship winner, as well as a two-time singles Olympic Gold medalist (London 2012: Singles, Beijing 2008: Singles). Additionally, she was ranked as high as number 2 in doubles for over a year between 2008 and 2010.
2007: First year on tourEdit
Zianzhi Ziyi (then Sun Ziyi) made her debut in August of 2007, following Wimbledon where she represented China in Fed Cup action, going 2-0 in singles.
After falling early throughout the American hard court season and ultimately the US Open too, she proved herself a force to be reckoned with after she picked up her maiden singles title in her home nation of China, in the Tier III event Guangzhou. She also went on to win her first doubles title in 2007 alongside Caroline Whitten, emerging victorious in Bali over the then top-ranked doubles team from Belarus, Nadia Banaszek and Larisa Ovechkina.
Despite only joining the tour in August, Ziyi managed to finish the year ranked within the top 35.
2008: Breakthrough yearEdit
Zianzhi continued much of the success that she had experienced toward the end of 2007 and in exhibitions played during December of that year. After falling early at the Australian Open, Zianzhi picked up her second career singles title in a Tier II event in Paris. Additionally, she had consistent showings throughout the clay-court season, eventually going as far as the quarter-finals of the French Open. Despite having held a match point, Zianzhi lost to eventual finalist Martine Kartincova. Zianzhi claimed her first grand slam title when she partnered Li Xuanyuan to win in Mixed Doubles. A day later she won the Women's Doubles title alongside Caroline Whitten.
Despite good showings on grass, Zianzhi suffered an unexpectedly early exit at Wimbledon. Though she lost early in singles, Zianzhi went on to win the Ladies' Doubles title (with Whitten), making it the duo's second consecutive grand slam title.
She regrouped for the upcoming Olympic Games that were to be held in her home city of Beijing, picking up a title a few weeks prior in Bad Gastein. It was at the Olympic Games however, that Zianzhi would establish herself as a player with true potential. After battling through several tough matches to reach the final, 7th ranked Zianzhi defeated her doubles partner and then top-ranked American Caroline Whitten, 1-6 7-6(7) 7-5, saving a match point in the second set tie-breaker, to claim the Olympic Gold medal for China. Zianzhi has stated that she feels this was the best match of her entire career in singles.
2011: World no. 1Edit
2012: Retirement and recapturing Olympic Gold in LondonEdit
Only days prior to the commencement of the Wimbledon Championship, citing injuries and her consequent lacking mobility, Zianzhi announced her intention to retire from professional tennis at year's end in doubles, and at the Premier Mandatory Beijing, her home city, in singles:
“From January of this year, it became clear following the Australian Open, that I would never be capable of fully playing at my best again, after sustaining an ankle injury following the year-end championships last year, which has hampered my movement considerably.It’s unfortunate, but I play a very mobile game and movement is certainly one of my greatest assets. Without it, I’m simply not the same player.”
She went on to state:
"I have given my life to tennis, since the age of 16 when I made my debut for my country in Fed Cup, but all good things must come to an end. I feel my time to depart from tennis is soon, and I look back at what I’ve achieved and I’m incredibly proud. I’m also so grateful for the friendships I have developed with players on tour.”
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Zianzhi successfully defended her singles Gold medal, defeating Germany's Sabine Graf in three tightly contested sets. The Gold medal also marked the first time any player has managed to achieve two Olympic Gold medals of any kind.
FWTT career finals (37-23)Edit
Singles: 23 (12–11)Edit
|Legend (pre/post 2009)|
|Grand Slam tournaments (1-2)|
|WTA Tour Championships (1-0)|
|Tier I / Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0-1)|
|Tier II / Premier (2–1)|
|Tier III, IV & V / International (1-1)|
|Winner||1.||September 30, 2007||Guangzhou, China||Hard||(8) S. Udayakumaran, IND||7-5 3-6 6-4|
|Winner||2.||February, 10, 2008||Paris, France||Hard (i)||B. Applegate, AUS||4-6 7-6(1) 7-5|
|Runner-Up||3.||February 17, 2008||Vina Del Mar, Chile||Clay||?||?|
|Winner||4.||July 20, 2008||Bad Gastein, Austria||Clay||(2) G. Dulko, MEX||7-5 6-4|
|Winner||5.||August 17, 2008||Beijing, China||Hard||(1) C. Whitten, USA||1-6 7-6(7) 7-5|
|Runner-Up||6.||September 21, 2008||Guangzhou, China||Hard|
|Winner||7.||October 5, 2008||Tokyo, Japan||Hard||(2) B. Applegate, AUS|
|Runner-Up||8.||February 28, 2009||Acapulco, Mexico||Clay||?||?|
|Winner||9.||July 19, 2009||Prague, Czech Republic||Clay||?||?|
|Runner-Up||10.||September 20, 2009||Guangzhou, China||Hard||?||?|
|Runner-Up||11.||April 4, 2010||Miami, USA||Hard||?||?|
|Runner-Up||12.||July 4, 2010||London, United Kingdom||Grass||?||?|
|Winner||13.||July 18, 2010||Prague, Czech Republic||Clay||?||?|
|Runner-Up||14.||July 25, 2010||Bad Gastein, Austria||Clay||?||?|
|Runner-Up||15.||August 28, 2010||New Haven, USA||Hard||?||?|
|Runner-Up||16.||September 13, 2010||New York, USA||Hard||?||?|
|Runner-Up||17.||September 26, 2010||Seoul, South Korea||Hard||?||?|
|Runner-Up||18.||January 9, 2011||Brisbane, Australia||Hard||?||?|
|Winner||19.||January 30, 2011||Melbourne, Australia||Hard||7-6(3) 6-1|
|Winner||20.||February 13, 2011||Paris, France||Hard (i)||?||?|
|Winner||21||October 30, 2011||Istanbul, Turkey||Hard (i)||?||?|